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L I b RAFtY 

OF THE 

U NIVERSITY 

or ILLINOIS 



THE 



LADY OF THE BEDCHAMBER, 



A NOVEL. 



BY MES. A. CRAWFORD, 



IN TWO VOLUMES. 



Corapell'd to wed, because she was my ward, 
Her soul was absent when she gave her hand." 

Dryden. 



E.Mockler 

VOL. I. 



LONDON : 

T. C. NEWBY, PUBLISHER, 
30, WELBECK STREET, CAVENDISH SQUARE 

1850. 



V.' 



THE LADY OF THE BED-CHAMBER. 



c^ 



CHAPTER L 



.^^ Here, take her hand, 

r Proud, scornful boy, unworthy this good gift ; 
"""* That does in vile misprision shackle up 

My love and her desert ; that canst not dream, 
i, ' We poizing us in her defective scale, 
^ Shall weigh thee to the beam ; that wilt not know 
i ^ It is in us to plant thine honour where 
We please to have it grow. 

Si; Skakspeare, 



•^ It was in the year 1668 that Louis the Four- 

!*^ teenth, after having attacked in person and 

taken Tourney, Oudenard, Alost, &c, found 

^.^^,^^ himself before the city of Lille, the most 



TOL. I. B 



<S 



2 THE LADY OF 

flourishing and best fortified of all the towns in 
Flanders. The Spanish General had assembled 
about eight- thousand men with the intention, 
if possible, of throwing succours into Lille, 
and the King detached the Marquis de Crequi 
and the Marquis de Bellefonds to attack them, 
whilst he himself carried on the siege with 
redoubled vigour. 

Brave and reckless of danger he exposed 
his person to all the risks of war, undergoing 
the same perils as the meanest of his soldiers, 
and would have inevitably been killed in a sally 
made by the besieged, grown desperate from 
their danger, had not the Chevalier de Valeour, 
who happened to be near him at the time, 
thrown himself before the sword raised by one 
of the officers of the besieged party against his 
beloved sovereign, and received in his own 
breast the deadly wound intended for that of 
Louis. His Sovereign was saved, and Lille 
was taken, but the brave De Yalcour only 
lingered till the following day, having be- 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 3 

queatlied to his grateful Sovereign, who stood 
beside his dying bed, the care of an only child, 
a daughter, who, as her father, though descended 
from a long line of ancestors had received from 
them scarcely any inheritance but his good 
sword, and a noble and unblemished name, 
would now be left, on his demise, a portionless 
orphan. 

After many other victories, so easily achieved 
that this campaign seemed almost an excursion 
of pleasure, Louis returned triumphantly to 
Paris. His first care was now to make in- 
quiries about the daughter of the Chevalier de 
Valcour, and finding that she was in the Con- 
vent of St. Agnes, situated in one of the 
valleys at the foot of Pyrenees, he determined 
to place her immediately among the maids of 
honour attendant on the Queen, and despatched 
forthwith a gouvernante, and an armed troop to 
escort her to Paris. 

Isabelle Agnes de Yalcour was at this period 

in her nineteenth year, rather above the middle 
B 2 



4 THE LADY OP 

height and finely formed, her deportment was 
graceful and dignified though withal simple 
and naive. Her beauty was of that kind which 
might be strictly termed classical, a regular 
Grecian outline of feature with a skin dazzlingly 
fair, soft dark brown eyes with long black 
lashes, and pencilled eye- brows, and a colour 
ever varying on the slightest emotion, like the 
rosy tint that flits and fades in the summer 
evening sky. For the last three or four years 
of her life she had considered herself as destined 
eventually for the cloister, and this new change 
was to her as surprising as unwished for. 

The Convent of St. Agnes was placed amidst 
the most magnificent scenery of nature in a 
small valley on the banks of a clear stream not 
many miles distant from the town of Argeles. 
An immense barrier of mountains opening now 
and then into similarly verdant vales, seemed 
to surround this valley on every side, while 
furious torrents dashed from tremendous heights 
into the abysses beneath these precipices, flow- 



THE BED- CHAMBER. 5 

ing, some in clear rivulets over a pebbly bed, 
others rushing impetuously through the deep 
glens. In this Convent the days of Isabelle 
had, previous to the death of her beloved 
father, glided away in peaceful tranquillity and 
happy usefulness amidst the good nuns who 
resided within its walls, and the simple and 
grateful peasantry, who surrounded them ; and 
now, at this period, with her cheeks still wet 
with tears for her recent loss, and a mind more 
than ever weaned from every worldly care, the 
startled maiden heard with a sensation border- 
ing on terror, that she must prepare im- 
mediately to leave these, her dearly beloved 
friends and instructors, the wild grandeur of 
nature, and the solitude so consonant to hex 
feelings, in order to mingle with the gay and 
noble of the land. She looked upon the lofty 
mountains which enclosed this valley where 
most part of her life had been spent, and she 
wept and wished they had formed a more 
eecure barrier around the Convent. 



b THE LADY OF 

Among these scenes had she received her 
earliest impressions, for her father, whose only 
inheritance was a dilapidated chateau and a 
small tract of mountainous land in the neigh- 
bourhood, had placed her, on the death of his 
beloved wife, which occurred a few years after 
the birth of Isabelle, in the care of the good 
Abbess of the Convent, and devoting himself 
entirely to the profession of arms, paid a hurried 
visit to his child whenever the toils of duty 
permitted him to do so. Once he had a vision 
of wealth and splendour for Isabelle ; but in 
this, as in many other of his hopes, he was 
doomed to be disappointed. His only sister 
who had been a great beauty and was, early 
in life, married to a Venetian nobleman, on 
the death of her husband, having no 
children of her own, professed her intention of 
adopting her niece, who was therefore, at the 
age of twelve years old, conducted to Venice 
by her father. 

The Marchesa Loredan affectionately em- 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 7 

braced her brother and her beautiful niece, pro- 
mising ever to regard the latter as her own 
child, and lavishing on her the tenderest marks 
of a mother's love. 

After remaining a few weeks with his sister 
the Chevalier de Valcour left Venice happy in 
having found in her a second mother for his 
beloved child. 

Isabelle passed her hours in nearly as great 
retirement in the Palazzo of the Loredan as she 
had done in the Convent of St. Agnes. Her 
aunt wished her for a time to devote herself 
entirely to the acquirement of those accom- 
plishments which the good Abbess of St. Agnes 
had not thought of bestowing on her young charge. 

With a natural appreciation of every- 
thing beautiful in Nature or Art, a quick ap- 
prehension, and a taste for music and painting, 
Isabelle made a rapid progress in every study to 
which she applied herself, and her delighted 
aunt anticipated the pleasure of introducing her 
into the first society in Venice, whea she should 



8 THE, LADY OF 

have completed her sixteenth year ; but unfor- 
seen events intervened which totally changed 
the destiny of Isabelle. 

The Marchesa, though no longer young, was 
still a line-looking woman, and passionately 
fond of admiration. Gay, and a lover of plea- 
sure, she spent her days in a perpetual whirl 
of amusement, while Isabelle was closely im- 
mured in the palazzo, under the charge of an 
old domestic called Nina, and surrounded by 
teachers of all descriptions. A woman so full 
of vanity and so fond of admiration as was 
the Marchesa, could not fail at last of becom- 
ing the prey of some needy adventurer; and 
before Isabelle had been a year and a half with 
her, she had formed a matrimonial connection 
with a soldier of fortune, young enough to be 
her son. 

This youthful and imperious husband made 
her understand in a few months that her adop- 
tion of Isabelle was not at all to his taste, and 
he very soon proposed that they should escort 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 9 

her back to her old friends in the Convent of 
St. Agnes, at the foot of the Pyrenees, and to 
this the indignant Marchesa was obliged to 
consent, as he was equally unmoved by tears, 
entreaties, and reproaches. 

Whatever might have been the Chevalier 
de Valcour's mortification at these proceedings, 
the young Isabelle saw again with rapture the 
beloved scenes around the Convent, and em- 
braced her ancient friends with the warmest 
demonstrations of joy. 

It is true that for the last few weeks of her 
abode at Venice, her aunt, without assigning 
any reason, had relaxed in her usual discipline, 
and had taken her to one or two gay fetes ; but 
if some events had occurred in this short 
period calculated to leave indelible impressions 
upon her mind, they were memories, not pain- 
ful in the retrospection, but soft, dim, dream- 
like as the recollections of a beautiful tale to 
which we have listened with unwearied interest, 
or some sweet song that haunts us, even in 
B 5 



10 THE LADY OF 

our dreams — they were too fairy-like, too un- 
real, to fill her with regret. 

Perchance had she been older, at the time 
they occurred, it might have been otherwise, 
but as it was, they interfered not with her wild 
delight at again beholding the home of her 
youth. 

And now, more than ever attached to those 
scenes, she must again leave everything that 
she loved the most. 

The child of solitude and seclusion was 
going at once to be placed in the midst of all 
the maddening gaiety and turmoil of the most 
polished and dissipated capital in Europe. 

Her reception by the King was gracious and 
condescending — by his Queen it was kind and 
fascinating. In deep mourning for her father, 
the young orphan pleaded for permission to 
live for a few months in retirement ; and this 
being granted, she never made her appearance, 
except when it came to her turn to wait upon 
the Queen. At all other times she confined 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 11 

herself entirely to her own apartments, only 
leaving them to perform her devotions in the 
chapel, or to take an early and solitary ramble 
in the gardens of the Palace, when she was 
always as closely veiled as if she had been 
still an inmate in the Convent of St. Agnes. 

Soon, however, the King became impatient 
of her total seclusion, and signified his wishes 
upon that point to the Queen, mentioning his 
desire that at the approaching f^tes which he 
was about to give in the gardens of Versailles, 
Isabelle should appear with the other ladies of 
her train ; and as he had resolved to give his 
young ward a noble marriage portion,he already 
began to look around for a suitable match for 
her amongst the young lordlings of his court. 

The one who after some deliberation in his 
own mind, the King at length fixed upon, was 
the young Baron de Montfort, a handsome and 
accomplished cavalier, only son of the Count de 
Beaumont, who had been for several years a 
favorite of Louis, and although the family was 



12 THE LADY OF 

ancient and distinguished, as their possessions 
were by no means extensiYe,the King shrewdly- 
thought that the magnificent dowry he was 
going to bestow upon his ward would be con- 
sidered by the Count as a welcome addition to 
their diminished heritage. 

Louis judged rightly in this respect. The 
Count eagerly accepted the intended alliance, 
and expressed his conviction of his son's grate- 
ful obedience to the commands of his sovereign. 
But in this supposition he was entirely mis- 
taken. 

De Mont ford with a thousand good qualities 
had all the faults of an only and spoiled child. 
If he was ingenuous, high-spirited, and gener- 
ous, he was likewise impetuous, self-willed, 
and reckless of consequences; and on the 
Count opening to him the intentions of the 
King in his favour, he, to his father's great sur- 
prise and dismay, expressed his positive deter- 
mination never to accept the lady's hand. 

For so peremptory and decided a resistance 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 13 

to the commaDds of his sovereign and the 
wishes of his father, there must have been some 
strong and secret motive, pa rticularly as he had 
not, as yet, even seen Isabelle— and there was 
one^ 

The young Baron de Montfort was passion- 
ately attached to the witty, beautiful, and in- 
triguing Marchioness de Varville. Although 
several years older than the Baron, she exer- 
cised an unlimited influence over him. 

Her bewitching manners and seductive arts, 
combined with talent of no ordinary class, had 
enlisted him for the last year among the most 
devoted, as he certainly was the most favoured, 
of her admirers ; and public report alleged^ with 
more truth than is generally found in such sur- 
mises, that on the death of the old Marquis, 
who was now almost in his dotage, the infatu- 
ated De Montfort would lead the beautiful but 
unprincipled Clementine to the altar. 

Of this entanglement, his father, as is fre- 
quently the case, knew less than any one else ; 



14 THE LADY OF 

or if he gave it a thought, considered it only as 
the fleeting fancy of a young man. His son's 
opposition therefore to the marriage which the 
King had determined on for him, seemed as 
extraordinary as it was rash and unlocked 
for. 

It was in vain, iiowever, that the Count re- 
presented to De Montfort the total impossibi- 
lity of his opposing the will of the King— the 
madness in short of such a proceeding, and 
that the probable consequences would be, with 
so absolute a monarch as Louis, the certain 
destruction of all his prospects in life, most 
likely a lettre de cachet and perpetual imprison- 
ment in the Bastile. 

To these arguments and many more, urged 
with all the energy and anxiety of a father, the 
young Baron continued inexorable ; but when 
the Count spoke of himself, of his own banish- 
ment from court, of the pain it would give him 
to fall under the displeasure of a sovereign 
whom he loved — of the pecuniary embarrass- 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 15 

ments which he laboured under, consequent on 
the sacrifices he had made in order to give his 
son that education, and make him that allow- 
ance which enabled him to vie with the most 
distinguished of the young nobility at court, 
and which, though his birth might demand, his 
narrow income forbade — the young man, un- 
moved by any considerations on his own ac- 
count, could not be insensible to what related 
personally to his father whom he tenderly 
loved— and after a severe struggle between 
love and duty, gave a reluctant promise to ac- 
quiesce in all that his monarch required — a con- 
sent made afterwards still more bitter by the 
passionate tears and reproaches of the indig- 
nant Marchioness de Yarville. 



16 THE LADY OF 



CHAPTER ir. 



La plupart de ces solennites brillantes ne sont 
souvent que pour les yeux et les oreilles ; ce qui 
n'est que pompe et magnificence passe en un jour : 
mais quand des chefs d'oeuvre de I'art, corame le 
TartufFe, font Tornement de ces fetes, elles laissent 
apr6s elles une eternelle memoire. 

Voltaire. 



IsABELLE heard of her approaching marriage 
with consternation, but without a thought of 
resisting the wishes of the Queen who im- 
parted it to her. 

" You must now, my gentle Isabelle/' con- 



THE BED'CHAMBEE. 17 

tinued she kindly, *'give up this love of 
retirement and appear at some of the gay 
festivities which are soon to take place — and 
this chain," she added with sweet condescension, 
taking a gold one of exquisite workmanship 
from her own neck, ^'must replace this black 
ribbon which ill becomes your swan-like 
throat." 

As Marie Therese uttered these words she 
took the black ribbon from the neck of 
Isabelle, and found that to it was suspended a 
locket of curious and beautiful device. The 
Queen looked at it with much admiration, and 
taking it from the ribbon, hung it on the chain 
of gold, while the embarrassed Isabelle did not 
dare to raise her eyes from the ground, and 
clasping it round the neck of her young 
favourite, said archly, 

" Gage dH amitie ou d* amour, Isabelle ?" 
Isabelle did not dare reply to this question, 
and the Queen pitying her confusion changed 



18 THE LADY OF 

the conversation to some indifferent subject, 
and after awhile said with great affability, 
' " I have ordered my marchande de modes to 
bring you all sorts of pretty dresses, that you 
may choose a becoming robe for to-morrow, 
when the King purposes to introduce to you 
the young Baron de Montfort." 

Isabelle's thanks were almost inarticulate, 
and the Queen with a gracious smile dismissed 
her. 

On the following day the King and all his 
court went to Versailles, where the proposed 
fete was to take place. 

It was the month of July and an entertain- 
ment in the delicious gardens of Versailles 
amidst cool grottos and shady arbours, re- 
freshed by innumerable jets d'eaux, and sur- 
rounded by thickets of odoriferous shrubs held 
out attractions not to be resisted by any who 
could possibly gain access to it. 

Isabelle felt as if she had arrived in the 



THE BED-CHAMBEK, 19 

region of fairy land, so new and dream- like 
did everything appear to her eye. Art vied 
with nature in the enchanting disposition of 
the grounds, in the midst of which rose a 
palace that seemed to be erected by the pre- 
siding genii of the place, where gold and 
marble, exquisite paintings and rich hangings 
met the eye in every direction. 

Here the officers who had been sent forward 
by the King to prepare every thing for their 
reception, were in waiting to receive them* 
After a slight collation, the ladies retired to re- 
pose themselves during the sultry heats of the 
day, and to prepare for their afternoon's 
amusement, and about six o'clock in the even- 
ing their Majesties, accompanied by all the 
nobles and ladies of the court, sought the 
shade of the beautiful pleasure grounds which 
surrounded the palace. 

Could Isabelle alone and unseen have pene- 
trated into the deep recesses of those delicious 
gardens and have strayed at will through the 



20 THE LADY OF 

long galleries and suites of apartments in the 
palace she would have enjoyed all this fairy 
scene unalloyed. But soon she shrunk with 
dismay from the remarks which she could not 
help perceiving were made upon her, on this 
her first appearance in public, and the intro- 
duction of her intended bridegroom by the 
King himself did not tend to increase her self- 
possession. 

The Baron de Montfort bowed with a 
haughty coldness, and after uttering, with ill- 
dissembled [politeness, a few common-place 
observations, to which her extreme confusion 
scarcely permitted her to reply, turned abruptly 
away, to lavish all his attentions upon a spark- 
ling brunette, whom Isabelle afterwards under- 
stood to be Madame de Varville. 

Timid and distressed, Isabelle now fol- 
lowed the Queen and the other ladies of her 
train, through several shady alleys, into a 
thick grove, which formed a species of laby- 
rinth, through whose intricacies the rays of 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 21 

the sun could scarcely penetrate, and in the 
midst of which was an open space, bordered 
with a smooth green turf. 

Here a splendid collation was prepared, and 
each table which held the comestibles, pre- 
sented a novel and ingenious spectacle. 

On one side deep recesses, scooped out of a 
lofty mound, were filled with the choicest cold 
viands, while opposite, the eye wandered to a 
palace, built entirely of comfitures. In another 
part, orange trees hung over a fountain, and 
the most delicious fruits were suspended from 
their branches, while at a little distance, water, 
thrown hjajet d^eau, more than fifty feet high, 
fell with a refreshing sound upon the ear, and 
mingled with the soft melody, produced by 
unseen musicians. 

Isabelle stole unobserved from the green 
turf, where all the Court were assembled, and 
seated herself in a bower hard by, which was 
nearly concealed from view, by a thicket of 
flowering shrubs. 



22 THE LADY OF 

Here she could see all that was going on, 
unperceived by others, and she now found that 
she could breathe more freely, and collect her 
scattered thoughts. The Baron de Montfort 
with his haughty bearing, was still before her 
eyes ; the accents of his voice still rung dis- 
tressingly in her ears, and she felt that, short 
as had been their interview, she had conceived 
towards him an invincible dislike. 

What recked it to her, that he was amons: 
the handsomest and most accomplished nobles 
of the Court I Had she not seen at a glance, 
with a woman's keen perception, that he was 
devoted to another, and how could she, simple 
and retiring as she was, dare hope to win him 
from the sparkling beauty, who seemed to hang 
upon his words ! 

And yet, such was the man she was to 
marry; it must be so; the King had willed it, 
and there was no escape. 

She could have wept, but her proud heart 
would not stoop to tears. Ah! would she 



THE BED-CHAMBER, 23 

were now in her beloved Convent, making 
garments for the poor peasantry! — there she 
was happy and contented. And now she 
imaged to herself her native valley, with its 
rushing streams and headlong precipices, and 
she could almost fancy she heard the hum of 
the wild bees, as they extracted a delicious 
honey from the perfumed heath, and the 
tinkling of the sheep-bells, as the shepherd's 
voice recalled them from the edge of some 
precipitous rock. 

Thus she mused, when, involuntarily and 
unwillingly, she heard the following dialogue. 

*' Do not congratulate me, De Cressy," said 
a voice, which Isabelle recognized as that of 
De Montfort. " Do not congratulate me, I 
conjure you, upon this hateful marriage. I 
have seen her to-day for the first time 

and -" 

" She is certainly graceful and elegant look- 
ing," interrupted De Cressy, *' and as well as 
I could glimpse her features through her thick 



24 THE LADY OF 

veil, young and interesting, and a few more 
months' sojourn at Court will remove that 
timid, nun-like air, which she now wears." 

'* Graceful —interesting !" exclaimed De 
Montfort, contemptuously. " 1 tell you, De 
Cressy, she is a mere, uneducated, country 
maiden — besides, you know [ passionately 
love another — ten thousand times would I 
prefer banishment from Court — aye ! death 
itself, to this detested union — and were it not 
for my father — but it is madness to talk of it 
— and Clementine ! — Oh ! how different is she 
from Clementine 1" 

" True,'* replied De Cressy, " she does not 
in the least resemble the brilliant, witty 
Madame de Varville, but, consider, she is 
much younger, and so inexperienced — " 

Here Isabelle was prevented from hearing 
any more, by the arrival of two ladies, who 
had been sent by the Queen in search of her, 
as the collation being over, they were all going 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 25 

to see a play performed, in another part of the 
grounds. 

The young Marquis de Cressy handed Isa- 
belle into the carriage, which was to convey 
her and some of the other maids of honour to 
the appointed spot, while De Montfort, pale 
and agitated, brushed quickly by, in search of 
Mndame de Varville, who was a little in 
advance. 

Following the carriage of the King and 
Queen through a long avenue of linden trees, 
and round the celebrated Fountain of the 
Swans, in the midst of which a brazen dragon, 
pierced with an arrow in the throat, seemed 
to vomit forth blood, while dolphins refreshed 
the air with continued jets d'eau, they arrived 
at a patch of green sward, where Sieur Yiga- 
rini had erected a temporary theatre. Without 
it had the appearance of a green bower, and 
within, of a magnificent salon, from the centre 
of which, hung numerous chandeliers of crys- 
tal, each bearing six waxen lights, and display- 
VOL, I. c 



26 THE LADY OF 

ing the rich tapestries and gorgeous mirrors, 
with which it was hung; while around were 
disposed, in an amphitheatre, seats and benches 
for several hundred persons. 

In front was the theatre, over which the 
curtain still hung. On each side, raised on 
pedestals of marble, were two columns of 
bronze and lapis lazuli, with golden branches, 
and leaves of the vine. Upon the cornices, 
were engraved the arms of the King, sur- 
rounded by trophies ; and between each 
column appeared figures, representing Peace 
and Victory. 

Louis and his Queen enjoyed the surprise 
of all around, at those charming decora- 
tions. 

And now the curtain rose, displaying what 
appeared a fair and lovely garden, where 
shepherds and shepherdesses, peasants, satyrs 
and wood-gods, were scattered about in every 
direction. 

Soon, arraying themselves in order, they 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 27 

approacKed, and performed a comedy and 
interlude, composed for the occasion, by Mo- 
liere, who acted the principal character him- 
self. 

Isabelle had nev^r before seen a representa- 
tion of this sort, and it took entire possession 
of her faculties. Absorbed in the contempla- 
tion of the scene before her, and in listening 
to the songs of the shepherds and shep- 
herdesses, she forgot everything — time, place, 
her approaching marriage, and all the world. 
It was on]y at the end of the first interlude, 
that she awoke to reality. 

Then she started as from a dream — she recol- 
lected all, and sighed deeply. Ah ! would she 
were now a peasant girl to tend the sheep and 
milk the cows — How willingly would she have 
exchanged her condition with one — only bar- 
gaining for a free and unfettered life. 

Soon, however, George Dandin appeared 
upon the stage. The inimitable Moliere played 
the part himself — The melancholy of Isabella 
c 2 



28 THE LADY OF 

was dissipated — she was enchained, astonished 
— she, too, joined in the merriment of the 
audience — she, too, laughed at the rich but 
silly peasant, who dared to make so dispropor- 
tioned an alliance, and even while she con- 
demned Angelique enjoyed her stratagems. 
Then again the shepherds and shepherdesses 
appeared in the interludes, and the entertain- 
ment concluded with their songs and dances. 

v 

Leaving the theatre the numerous assembly 
that filled it, now poured forth through a portico 
in a different direction from the one by which 
they had entered. 

The moon had risen, and her brilliant 
rays seemed almost to eclipse the lights that 
sparkled in every direction through the thick 
foliage. 

The gay cavaliers, attached to the party to 
which Isabelle belonged, crowded around her, 
anxious to proffer their services. She had that 
night been pronounced beautiful by the majority 
of those who deemed themselves connoisseurs in 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 29 

beauty — some had praised the expression and 
nobility of her features, and the witchery of 
her dark eyes — others her graceful tournure and 
symmetry of figure, while all blamed and 
pitied De Montfort for his blindness to her 
charms. 

Following the King, who led the way 
through a cross alley, they beheld, at some 
little distance, a lofty temple covered with ver- 
dure, and streaming with lights. Cunning 
artificers had wrought so well, that brilliant 
illuminations were seen in every part of it, 
sparkling as if by magic, through the waters of 
fountains which fell with a gentle murmur from 
the large vases that crowned the pilasters, which 
stood at the angles of the edifice, while thick 
masses of trees surrounding it on every side, 
and through which a moon-beam did not pene- 
trate, rendered it, by contrast, still more 
dazzling. 

Isabelle looked at it with wonder, and felt as 
if it were a fairy palace, into which some elfin 



30 THE LADY OF 

knight conducted his beloved. Within its 
walls, in the midst of an extensive area, rose 
an immense rock. On the summit of it, 
Pegasus with extended wings seemed to spring 
forward into the air, while from beneath his 
foot gushed forth a stream of water, that 
dashed and foamed impetuously over the sharp 
projections which impeded its course, and then 
murmuring softly through little ravines, over 
variegated pebbles and shells, mingled its 
bubblings with the musical instruments 
which Apollo and the Muses, who formed a 
group near the base of the rock, seemed to 
strike. 

Amongst the shells, moss, and green herbage, 
at the foot of the rook, were laid a number of 
covers for the King and those of his court whom 
he should honour by selecting, while under 
bowers, grottos, and tents, in the neigh- 
bouring alleys, the rest of the feast was set 
forth. 

Fauns and hamadryades, wood-gods and 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 31 

nymphs of the fountains, who still haunt the 
beautiful gardens of Versailles, weep over its 
departed glories, for never again will you be- 
hold fetes so unique, so magnificent ! weep, for 
those days will never come again ! 

The pleasures of this day were not however 
ended yet. After supper the King retired, 
and turning his steps in the direction of the 
palace, introduced his guests into another 
enchanted hall, beautiful as the temple they 
had left, but in a different taste, as it was all 
gorgeous with porphyry and marbles, and 
adornments of every kind. 

Isabelle though delighted with all she saw, 
had no mind to participate in the entertainment 
of the ball, but amused herself by gazing upon 
the various sets of dancers who moved grace- 
fully to the sound of musicians so skilfully 
concealed from view, that it was Arion riding 
upon a dolphin emerging from the crystal 
waters which washed the sides of a grotto of 
shells that touched the lyre, while Orpheus on 



32 THE LADY OF 

a rock hard by, seemed to vie with two sea- 
nymphs seated at the foot of it In bringiog forth 
the most melodious sounds. 

Isabelle at length retired into a deep recess 
from whence she could look into the gardens, 
and gazed into the depths of the soft lights and 
shadows without. There was a delicious fresh- 
ness in the look of the groves, and she fancied 
how exquisite must be the song of the nightin- 
gale in the silence of night — bow, if she did 
sing, the dashing of torrents of water mingling 
with the instruments of music drowned her 
plaintive notes. 

But Isabelle was left only a short time to 
her meditations. Soon every one crowded to 
the balconies to behold the brilliant illumina- 
tions which the sieur Gissey had prepared. The 
palace of Versailles itself nppeared to be on 
fire. Fire seemed to issue from the rocks, from 
the earth, from the mouths of dragons and of 
every form of animal that imagination could 
invent, while floods of water seemed to pursue 



THE BED-CHAMBER. S3 

them in every direction, as if in a vain attempt 
to extinguish the flames. The cypher of Louis 
appeared traced in characters of fire in every 
direction, and the whole concluded with a deaf- 
ening explosion which not only extinguished 
the illuminations but seemed to put the stars to 
flight, for the dawn of morning was now seen 
to put forth. 

At length the fatigued Isabelle found her- 
self on the way to St. Germain, and soon 
seeking her pillow fell into a deep sleep, but 
memory and imagination, ever watching, pur- 
sued her with a thousand wild and fitful 
vagaries — now she fancied herself enveloped by 
real flames and nameless horrors, and a hand 
was stretched forth to save her, but that hand 
was not the hand of De Montfort. Then she 
dreamed that she was alone in some cool dark 
grotto — there was no sound of music, but the 
plaintive song of the nightingale — no illumi- 
nations but those of the brio^ht stars twinklincr 
in the dark blue heavens, and the moonbeams 
C 5 



34 THE LADY OF 

streaming in a soft light upon the tesselated 
pavement that bordered the fountain close by ; 
and now the river-god who hung over it, filling 
his urn from the crystal wave, suddenly ap- 
peared to start into life — he approached her, 
and knelt before her — she tried to shriek and 
covered her face w ith her hands. Anon, a soft 
voice which she once knew, called her Agnes I 
dear Agnes ! and seizing her hand pressed it 
to his lips. She looked again but the river- 
god had disappeared, and she r^xognized the 
figure of one whom she had seen last by the 
light of that same moon, but the face was in- 
distinct and shadowy. 

"Have you indeed forgotten me, Agnes?" 
he said ; and in her effort to answer him 
Isabelle awoke. 

At length came the eve of her wedding-day, 
and Isabelle, agitated, bewildered, and weary, 
found herself, towards midnight, alone in her 
own apartment. 

Ever since the fete at Vervsailles all had been 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 35 

for her distracting bustle and confusion. She 
had been hurried from one scene of gaiety to 
another — masked balls, fetes, theatricals — a 
perfect whirl of dissipation. 

The Queen herself had graciously presented 
her with a magnificent trousseau —the King had 
given her a splendid suit of diamonds. The 
ladies of the Court vied with each other who 
should show her most attention and kindness, in 
order to ingratiate themselves with the Queen. 
The young nobles pursued her with compli- 
ments, envying the insensible De Montfort 
so fair and so richly dowried a bride. 

Everything combined to bewilder, to soothe, 
to flatter the young novice, but in vain. Wil- 
lingly would she have escaped from all this 
turmoil— willingly, oh, how willingly would she 
huve released De Montfort from his hated 
engagement; who, cold, pre-occupied, dejected 
and spiritless, but too plainly showed how 
heavy he considered the chain, that was to bind 
them together. 



36 THE LADY OF 

The eve of her wedding-day however was 
arrived ; and pale and spiritless as De Mont- 
fort himself, Isabelle stood before her mirror. 

With a heavy sigh she took the little gold 
locket, which we have mentioned before, from 
her bosom, and wistfully gazed upon it. 

" It was but a dream," said she, with a still 
deeper sigh, as she pressed it to her lips. " It 
was only a dream, but how sweet in its me- 
mory — would it had never been I" 

Then slowly taking the locket oiF the chain 
to which the Queen had appended it, she looked 
at it again. 

" I cannot part with it," said she, replacing 
it ; " and why should I ? Is he not as the 
dead to me ? I know not even his name. Why 
do I think of him now ? I thought not of hina 
— I dreamt not of him, in the Convent of St. 
Agnes. — yet now he is ever before me in my 
dreams, in my waking thoughts.. But I will 
forget him again ; and this can be to me but as 
a token of friendship, a remembrance of one 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 37 

who saved my life. No, I cannot part with 
it. Ah ! would that to-morrow could gee me 
the bride of Heaven, and not of De Montfort ! 
then I would not even think of him. Yet I 
pity De Montfort too — yes, he is as unhappy 
as I am, and like me he has no escape.'^ 

What were the remembrances attached to 
this locket that made Isabelle thus soliloquise? 
To explain them we must refer to the last 
fortnight she passed with her aunt at Venice, 
five years before the commencement of this 
narrative. 



38 THE LADY OF 



CHAPTER IIL 



Over the monntains, 

And under the waves, 
Over the fountains, 

And under the graves ; 
Under floods that are deepest, 

Which Neptune obey ; 
Over rocks that are steepest, 

Love will find out the way. 

OLD SONG. 
From Percys Reliques. 



It was the season of the carnival at Venice— 
every one knows what a carnival at Venice is 
«-The lagunes, or canals, were filled with 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 39. 

gondolas crowd with masquerading personages 
in gay and fantastic dresses, while music floated 
on the air in every direction. 

On this particular evening there was amongst 
many others^ a masqued ball at the house of 
the Signer Pesaro, one of the wealthiest and 
most magnificent of the Venetian nobles ; and 
thither the Marchesa Loredan took her beauti- 
ful niece Isabelle, arrayed in the costume of a 
gipsy girl with a gittern, while she herself was 
splendidly dressed as a Roman matron of the 
days of the Cagsars. It was the first time that 
Isabelle had been at any amusement of the 
kind, and she looked round with girlish delight.^ 
Sheltered under her mask from all recognition, 
she sung, with a soft, clear voice, snatches of 
the songs she had learned, in order to support 
her part ; but when a graceful young cavalier 
approached, and begged her to tell him his for- 
tune, she felt her couragefailand she clung closer 
to her aunt, who, however, did not perceive 
her embarrassment, being herself engaged in 



40 THE LADY OF 

an animated conversation with an old Roman 
senator. 

" Lovely Bohemienne," said the youth, who 
was dressed as a Spanish cavalier, and whose 
accent pronounced him to be no Italian, *' how 
can I tempt you to tell me my fortune ? — will 
a ruby heart, or a golden one bribe you to 
answer me ?" 

** Sir Knight," said the young maiden, 
timidly, " it is my first masquerade, and to 
own the truth, I am but a sad adept as yet in 
my new character." 

" Charming innocence !" exclaimed the youth 
in French. 

"Dear Agnes!" said the Marchesa, at this 
moment addrei^sing Isabelle, and calling her by 
her second name, which she always used in 
preference to that of Isabelle, Agnes being her 
own baptismal appellation ; and speaking to 
her at the same time in Italian, which was now 
more habitual to her from her long residence in 
Italy than French, *' Dear Agnes, it is so hot. 



THE BED-CHAMBEE. 41 

and I am so thirsty — I must try and get some 
lemonade." 

The young cavalier scarcely gave her time to 
finish the sentence, before he was at her side 
with the desired beverage. The Marchesa 
politely thanked him, and bceing a group of 
masks that she thought she recognised, moved 
on to join them, while the youth still hovered 
close to Isabelle. 

" Ah !'' said he, *' I have discovered your 
name — it is Agnes- sweet Agnes ! — I will give 
you a lesson in telling fortunes, if you will give 
me your hand. There now," said he, taking 
it and pressing it to his lips gallantly, " 1 will 
read the lines of your destiny." 

Isabelle drew back her hand half frightened. 

" Forgive me," continued he, earnestly, "I 
did not intend to offend you — it was the tones 
of your charming voice that first attracted me, 
and now I would give worlds to see you without 
your mask." 

By this time the Marchesa, who found her- 



42 THE LADY OF 

self quite separated from the party with whom 
she had entered the room, turned her steps 
towards the vestibule, and called for her 
gondola. The crowd was so excessive, that 
Isabelle with great difficulty clung to the arm 
of her aunt— yet, notwithstanding all her exer- 
tions to keep close ti her, she was forcibly 
jostled apart by a group of Pulcinellas and 
Arlecchinos, and to her dismay, found herself 
alone in the midst of a masked crowd entirely 
unknown to her. For an instant she stood 
motionless with terror; but almost immediately 
the young Spaniard was at her side, and seizing 
her hand drew her on rapidly whispering : 

" We shall reach your chaperon in a moment, 
but first tell me, T conjure you, are you to be 
at the entertainment given at the ducal palazzo 
to-morrow evening?'' 

Isabelle, who knew her aunt would be tl ere, 
and that she was to accompany her, answered 
in the affirmative. 

"And your dress?— do not deny me the 



THE BED-CHAMBEE. 43 

happiness of recognising you again — What is to 
be your dress?" 

" I cannot tell," replied Isabelle, with much 
confusion, " my aunt has not yet decided what 
character I am to appear in." 

The youth made a gesture of disappointment, 
and exclaimed : 

" ^Nevertheless it is impossible, that I shall 
not recognise you." 

He now led Isabelle to the top of the steps^ 
where they found Marchesa anxiously looking 
around in search of her. 

With a hasty reprimand to Isabelle for her 
giddiness in thus allowing herself to be separated 
from her, and a cold bow to the masked stranger, 
the Marchesa desired Isabelle to descend into 
the gondola before her. The young cavalier 
however, nothing daunted by the distant air 
of the Marchesa, assisted Isabelle down the 
steps, and then, beckoning to a gondolier to 
approach, sprang into another gondola, and 
desired the boatmen to follow the one into which 



44 THE LADY OF 

the two ladies had just entered ; and to mark 
where they landed. But in the confusion oc- 
casioned by the number of gondolas, which 
pressed forward to receive the departing guests, 
he had the mortification to loose sight of it, 
almost immediately. 

On the following evening the stranger sought 
in vain for the young maiden, amidst the 
crowd of masks who filled the extensive suite 
of apartments in the ducal palazzo. 

At length, in the timid air of a young nun 
of the order of St. Francesca, he thought he 
recognised her towards the latter end of the 
evening. She was seated alone in a little 
bower of lemon trees, which had been so well 
arranged on one of the balconies, as to look as 
if they had taken root there, and on his ap- 
proaching her, dressed in the same Spanish 
garb as that he wore on the preceding evening, 
he saw by a slight involuntary start that she 
had recognised him. 

He now eagerly accosted her, and tried to 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 45 

prevail on her to unmask, but in vain, she 
seemed terrified by his entreaties, and hastily- 
joined her aunt who was on the other side of 
the bower, and was now preparing to depart. 

The young Cavalier much mortified, fol- 
lowed them closely and leaning over the balus- 
trade beheld the Marchesa enter the gondola, 
but the young maiden who had just caught a 
glimpse of his figure, and who had already re- 
pented of the cold reception she had given 
him, turning her head to be certain that it was 
indeed he who was observing them, made a 
fa^se step and was immediately precipitated into 
the canal. Quick as lightning the stranger 
flung himself from the balcony into the water, 
and endeavoured to grasp her robe, but in vain, 
the stroke of a gondolier anxious to reach the 
place where the guests were taking their de- 
parture brought his gondola over the very spot 
where her mantiglia had been seen, and the 
disappointed youth dived impetuously beneath 
the boat in search of her. 



416 THE LABT OF 

It was however only the work of a moment. 
Before any of the gondoliers had time to offer 
their assistance, and while the piercing shrieks 
of the Marchesa still echoed on the ear, the 
Spanish mask appeared again upon the surface 
of the water, and though stunned himself by 
an accidental stroke from one of the oars, bore 
in his arms the fainting form of Isabelle, who 
though apparently unconscious, heard, as in a 
dream, his whispered ejaculation of " Lovely 
Agnes ! it is I — be not afraid — you are safe." 

The gondola now moved on, the Marchesa 
almost forgetting in her transport at recover- 
ing her niece, to thank her deliverer, but the 
youth had now no difficulty in discovering to 
whom the gondola belonged, as this accident 
had attracted many eyes towards it and he soon 
found its destination was towards the palazzo 
of the Loredan. 

For several days the young stranger lingered 
about that quarter of Venice in which the 
palazzo of Loredan was situated — sometimes he 



THE BED CHAMBERa 47 

watcKed the great gate of the court, in hopes 
he should see the maiden issue from its portal — 
at other times from a gondola he observed the 
marble steps which led to the edge of the canal' 
and cast many a wistful look towards the 
balconies projecting over the water, but all his 
watchings and vigils appeared doomed to be 
fruitless — dames and cavaliers, domestics and 
gondoliers, went and came, but amongst them 
he recognised not the slender form he had 
snatched from the Lagune. 

The carnival was past. It was now the 
season of fasting and prayer, and every evening 
saw the young Isabelle closely veiled, with her 
gouvernante, sometimes also accompanied by 
the Marchesa, pass through a private egress 
from the palazzo, and enter the neighbouring 
church of the Salute. As yet however she 
had escaped the vigilant eye of her lover, whose 
disappointment at not beholding her, made him 
only more anxious in the pursuit. 



48 THE LADY OF 

One evening the youth, weary of thus vainly 
watching th-e balconies and windows of the 
palazzo from his gondola, af rayed into this 
church. It was dimly lighted — so dimly that 
the figures which moved through its long aisles, 
seemed to flit about like so many spectres. At 
the conclusion of the service, Isabelle rose from 
her devotions. She had been kneeling close 
beside a pillar, and was quite ia the shade. 
Suddenly she heard a voice near her, which 
she immediately recognized as that of the young 
cavalier who had so adventurously plunged into 
the Lagune after her, on the night of the 
masquerade. 

He exclaimed in a low whisper as he bent 
his he id near hers, " Agnes I lovely Agnes — 
have I found you again — I knew your voice 
when you joined in the Vesper hymn just now. 
How fortunate that I should accidentally seat 
myself on a bench close beside you ! Speak — 
tell me that I am not mistaken— that it is in- 



THE BED-CHAMBEK. 49 

deed you whom I have found. Ah ! if you 
knew how unweariedly I have sought for 
you r 

Isabelle started and trembled, but she did 
not now draw back the hand which he had 
taken. 

" I am very glad Signer," replied she in a 
faltering voice, "to be able to return you thanks 
in person, for the great service you have ren- 
dered me. Believe me I am truly grateful." 

" Will you prove it," said the young stranger 
in soft persuasive accents. 

" How. can I?" replied Isabelle, and as she 
uttered these words, Nina approached, (the 
Marchesa had not accompanied them that 
evening) and whispered to her, that it was time 
to depart. 

*' Good nurse," said the stranger, slipping a 
heavy purse in^o her hand, "you will not re- 
fuse me a few moments' conversation with you 
young mistress?" 

Then turning to Isabelle whose hand he still 

VOL. I. B 



50 THE LADY OF 

held within his, he added in a tone of passionate 
entreaty. 

** Sweet one I you will not refuse to listen to 
me for five minutes ?" 

The considerate Nina removed to a little 
distance, and the agitated Isabelle felt that she 
could not deny this request made by one to 
whom she was so deeply indebted. The church 
was now nearly empty, only a solitary step 
was heard, here and there, echoing through the 
distant aisles. Many of the lamps had gone 
out, but the rays of the moon just risen, had 
found their way through the painted glass of a 
gothic window at some distance, and threw a 
transient light upon the figures of the youth 
and maiden as they stood behind the pillar — 
he, pouring forth the most passionate protesta- 
tions of love, and recounting his hopes, his 
fears, his disappointments in the search he had 
after her — she, listening to his vows with an 
inexplicable mixture of timid bewilderment 
and unacknowledged pleasure, but soon the 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 51 

prudent Nina approached, fearful that their 
delay might be remarked, and hurried her 
young mistress away, not however before the 
youth had obtained from Isabelle a reluctant 
promise that she would not mention this acci- 
dental meeting to the Marchesa, lest it might 
induce her to forbid their attendance at vespers 
on the following evening. 

Too young to understand aright those vague 
and delicious sensations just awakened in her 
little heart, or to know if indeed she had a 
heart to bestow, Isabelle deemed this new and 
sweet emotion, the chord of passionate feeling 
for the first time touched in her existence, but 
as the ebullition of a gratitude due to this 
young stranger. Nevertheless, a secret con- 
sciousness that it was wrong to listen to such 
language without the knowledge of her aunt, 
would in all probability have prevented her 
from throwing herself in the way of another 
interview had not Nina, won by his gold, per- 
suaded her that she could not, without base 
D 2 



OBRAW 



52 THE LADY OF 

ingratitude, fly from her preserver, that while 
she was with her, there could not be the 
slightest impropriety in meeting him in the 
church, and that as to telling her aunt, it 
would be the word for her own immediate dis- 
missal. 

This last argument settled the question, for 
since the marriage of the Marchesa, her temper 
had become so variable and irritable that 
Isabelle trembled at the idea of losing Nina. 

Thus, the next evening at the hour of ves- 
pers, when the presence of the Marchasa pre- 
vented the youth from addressing Isabelle, she 
did not breathe a hint of his vicinity, although 
conscious that he was hovering near her ; nor 
did she on the following one, when the absence 
of her aunt gave him an opportunity, reject the 
locket which he fastened round her neck, or 
refuse to bestow on him the little gold cross 
attached to her rosary, for A\hich he so passion- 
ately entreated ; neither did she listen with 
indifference when he told her, that he must 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 53 

leave Venice on the following day, for a week, 
but that on his return, he would disclose his 
name and rank to her relatives, and demand 
her hand in marriage. 

His name and rank ! Silly girl ! she had 
never even asked him his name — she knew not 
his country — his profession — they were at this 
instant, almost as beings of another sphere to 
each other. 

They had met at the masquerade — they had 
met beneath the star-lit heavens — by the flit- 
ting moonbeams, and in the shadowy and dimly 
lighted aisles of the church of the Salute ; but 
could she tell if it might not be the uncertainty 
of those meetings, and the undefinable charm 
which the concealment of a masquerade dress 
and the transient glimpses caught of her veiled 
form through the dimness and obscurity of 
evening, that awakened this passionate love in 
the breast of the stranger. Whether her dark 
eyes would have looked as fascinating, and her 
smile as angelic when seen in the garish eye of 



54 THE LADY OF 

day, cannot now be told, for within that week, 
during the absence of her lover, Isabelle was 
hurried away from Yenice, with the indignant 
Marchesa, by the imperious husband the latter 
had so madly chosen. 

It might be about ten days after this last 
meeting cf Isabelle and the young stranger in 
the church of the Salute that, towards the 
close of a fine spring evening, two cavaliers, 
apparently foreigners, coming from opposite 
sides of the square of St. Mark, met beneath 
the massive fa9ide of the cathedral church 
which forms one end of that far-famed square. 

The deepening twilight threw its indistinct 
shadows upon the groups who still lingered 
around, while their different costumes and the 
confused hum of many languages, proclaimed 
them to be the denizens of different countries. 
The shops were already beginning to be de- 
serted, and the coffee-houses and places of en- 
tertainment were filling fast. Here and there 
you might see some stranger preparing to re- 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 55 

turn to his borne, pause to gaze upon the beau- 
tiful harbour, with its gondolas in the distance, 
or glance with a look of wonder through the 
hollow court of the palace of the Doge upon 
the Giant's Steps. 

** Have you discovered your beautiful incog- 
nita, Adhemar?" demanded the elder of the 
cavaliers, as he approached the other; who, 
with his dark eyes fixed upon the ground, was 
walking slowly,and apparently in deep thought, 
beneath the facade of the church. 

" JSTo, Kaoul J" exclaimed the other, starting 
at the sound of his friend's voice, and exhibit- 
ing the handsome but dejected countenance of 
a youth of nineteen. ** Agnes is gone, and 
I can find no trace of her — The palazzo of the 
Loredan is deserted— All the family left Venice 
last week, no one knows whither — I found that 
Agnes is the niece, not the daughter of the 
Marchesa, from the stupid old porter, who is 
the only soul remaining in the palazzo — and he 
knows not even her name, only la Signora 



66 THE LADY OF 

Agnesef—l have lost her for ever — so artless — 
so timid— so ingenuous!" 

*' My dear Adhemar !" rejoined his friend, 
" this is a most romantic affair ; but, perhaps, 
it is better it has ended thus. What would 
your father have said to it?" . 

" 1 care not," said Adhemar, impetuously, 

" could I but find Agnes— my father might be 

angry but he would forgive — I was to have 

met her at the church of the Salute a few nights 

since — we had arranged it the evening before I 

left Venice — her nurse, whom I had gained 

over to my interest, was to accompany her — I 

watched, 1 lingered till night in the church ; 

but they came not— next day I watched the 

gates, the windows, the balconies of the 

palazzo, but no one appeared — they seemed all 

deserted — grown desperate I at last ventured 

to knock at the gate, this brought out the old 

porter, who told me that he was now the only 

inmate within the walls*" 

*' Believe me I sympathise in your disap- 



THE BEB-CHAMBER. 57 

pointraent, my dear friend !" replied his com- 
panion, suppressing something very like a smile 
at those bitter regrets of Adhemar. " But I 
suspect that, after all, you would most likely 
have suffered a more severe disappointment by 
and by. It is not impossible but that your 
Agnes may resemble the rose 

" Quanto si mostra men, tanto e piu hella,''' 

" You have only seen her in the moonlight, and 
the starlight, half hidden beneath the folds of 
her black veil. Perhaps you would have smiled 
at your romantic love, could you have com- 
pared her with other beauties in the open 
day." 

" It may be so," said Adhemar, with a deep 
sigh, " but I shall ever regret her loss." 

" And you told her that you loved her," said 
Raoul, enquiringly, " and what said she !" 

" She started, and trembled," replied Adhe- 
mar, " and looked around for her nurse ; then 
D 5 



58 THE LABY OF 

he weptj and told me ehe could never forget 
how I had saved her life." 

" Yes !" said his companion, '' if you had 
not thrown yourself so rashly from that high 
gallery, and dived for her under the gondola, 
she was gone — I was looking on, and perceived 
that the gondoliers near at hand, were quite 
intoxicated and unable to assist her — I suppose 
they had been carousing, and keeping the 
carnival amongst themselves." 

** I think I shall leave Yenice to-morrow,*' 
said Adhemar, gloomily, " it is detestable to 
me now." 

" After all, it is but a iriste place, except 
perhaps during the carnival," said Eaoul. 
" Those gondolas covered with black cloth, 
and those grave patricians masked and dressed 
in black with their mute gondoliers, and those 
old, dark, gothic looking houses, often chill my 
blood — this silent city makes me shudder — 
Nothing ever looks animated except in St. 
Mark's Square, and even here, when 1 happeis 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 59 

to enter it early in the morning I cast a wistful 
glance to see if there may not be half a dozen 
gibbets planted during the night with a dead 
body swinging from each of them." 

*' Then suppose we arrange to leave Venice 
in company to-morrow ?" enquired Adhemar. 
** I shall certainly not remain here a day longer." 

"Be it so," replied his campanion, gaily — 
" then to-morrow we bid adieu to thee " Island 
Queen of the Adriatic !*' and thus saying, they 
parted. 



60 THE LADY OF 



CHAPTEK IV. 



" All'odiose nozze, 
Come, vittima io vengo all' ara avanti." 

Metastasio. 



" Care selve beate, 

E voi solinghi, e taciturni orrori 

Di riposo, e di pace alberghi veri 

quanto yolontieri 

A rivedervi i' torno !" 

GUAHINI. 



The morning of her marriage day arrived, 
Isabdl©; though weary and sick at heart, had 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 61 

not gone to rest all the night. Part of it had 
been spent in the chapel, and the remainder at 
prayers, in her own little oratory. She was 
still kneeling at her devotions, when a slight 
noise in the adjoining apartment aroused her 
attention. She knew that her attendant was 
there, arranging her dress for the approaching 
ceremony. She had seen the spotless white 
robe and veil, and the wreath of orange flowers 
in which she was to consummate, what she 
felt was truly a sacrifice, laid out in the 
dressing-room, before she had dismissed Vic- 
toire on the preceding evening, and she at first 
thought, it might be only some message from 
her marchand de modes, who, she knew, consi- 
dered the minutia of her dress, as a matter of 
very great importance, when she was startled, 
by distinguishing the suppressed accents of a 
male voice. 

Presently Victoire knocked at the door, and 
on being desired to enter, said : — 

" That the Baron De Montfort entreated, to 



62 THE LADY OF 

be permitted to have a few minutes' conver 
sation wi|h Mademoiselle De Valcour !" 

Isabelle had scarcely time to make a motion 
of assent — speak she could not, so great was 
her {astonishment — when the Baron himself, 
hastily entering, and closing the door on her 
attendant, stood before her.^ 

If Isabelle was pale and dejected from her 
long vigil, stiil paler^ and more haggard looked 
the young Baron, while, unheeding her almost 
inarticulate request, that he would be seated, 
he thus addressed her: — 

" Mademoiselle De Valcour, if 1 do not 
much mistake, your dislike to this ill-starred 
union, is as deeply rooted as my own — speak — 
tell me, is it so? Yet, need I ask you! — 
you, too, have spent a wakeful and a tearful 
night I" 

His voice was calm, and he seemed by a 
violent effort, to suppress all emotion, as 
leaning on the back of a chair, he paused to 
await her answer. It was impossible for Isa- 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 6S 

belle to restrain her tears, while he uttered 
those words, so careworn was his aspect, and 
for a moment she could not speak ; then with 
trepidation, she replied : — 

** Monsieur, you have read my feelings 
aright — devoted to a conventual life, I would 
willingly be the bride of God alone! Is it 
possible ? — can we — " 

" It is impossible," replied the Baron, hur- 
riedly interrupting her. *' I came not for that 
— at eleven o'clock we must meet in the 
chapel, in the presence of the King and Queen 
— but I am offered a high post, in the embassy 
at Constantinople, by my uncle, who is ap- 
pointed ambassador there. It is for both our 
happiness to separate— I purpose leaving Paris 
this very day — you shall reside where you 
like, either in Paris, or at the Chateau De 
Beaumont, in Normandy, with an income 
suitable to your rank. Speak! Mademoiselle 
De Valcour — does this meet your approba- 
tion?" 



64 THE LADY OF 

But he need not have asked her — no reply 
•was necessary — he saw her approval written in 
her eyes — in the beautiful colour, that flashed 
across her pale cheek — in the pleased expres- 
sion that played around her lip — and he well 
remembered these indications of her sentiments 
afterwards. 

Isabelle felt as if a mountain had been taken 
off her heart, and after expressing her entire 
concurrence in his plans, said that a residence 
at the Chateau de Beaumont would, at present, 
be most consonant to her wishes. In fact the 
very idea of going to be her own mistress in 
the country, made her entirely forget, for the 
moment, that she was about to be married, and 
after the Baron's departure, she remained in a 
pleasing reverie until Victoire announced, that 
it was quite time for her young mistress to 
dress. 

The marriage was celebrated in the presence 
of the King and Queen, the Count de Beau- 
mont and several of the lords and ladies of the 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 65 

court. The King himself gave away the bride 
and the Bishop of Meaux performed the cere- 
mony. Isabelle felt all the time she knelt be- 
side the altar, as if she were in a dream, 
nothing around her appeared to have a palpable 
shape or form — it was to her, but as the fleeting 
vision of a magic mirror, till she felt the cold 
hand of De Montfort place the ring upon her 
finger, the touch seemed to strike an ice bolt 
to her heart — and now it was over and the 
King handed her into her carriage, and Isabelle 
bowed and tried to smile in reply to the various 
words he uttered, but they all fell upon an un- 
conscious ear, for she heard nothing. 

In an hour or two all was arranged for their 
departure from Paris, and Isabelle found her- 
self, with an inexpressible sensation of pleasure 
leaving the capital behind her, as the horses 
galloped on at a rapid race. This feeling was 
much increased by hearing from Victoire, who 
was her travelling companion, that the. Baron 
and his train had parted company from them at 



66 THE LADY OF 

about ten leagues from Paris, and had pro- 
ceeded in a different direction from the one they 
were travelling. 

They did not however reach the Chateau de 
Beaumont, situated in a remote part of Nor- 
mandy, till the latter end of the third day. 
Isabelle's heart absolutely bounded with a 
rapturous sense of freedom, when she beheld 
the beautiful hills and valleys, through which 
the road wound for several leagues before they 
reached the Chateau. If the face of the 
country wanted the bold magnificence of her 
native mountain scenery, she saw, in its fruitful 
orchards and smiling valleys — its narrow bowery 
lanes and little rivulets, the picture of a sweet 
retirement. 

The Chateau stood in a secluded valley about 
a mile distant from the sea shore, and was an 
ancient building of considerable extent. In 
former times it had been the constant residence 
of the. family of De Beaumont, but the present 
Count, losing his wife a few years after his 



THE BED CHAMBER. 67 

marriage, had since resided principally in Paris, 
only visiting the Chateau occasionally. It had 
however been put into some sort of order in 
expectation of the arrival of the young bride 
9nd bridegroom, as the Count, who had given 
it up to his son on his marriage, was quite igno- 
rant of the arrangements De Montfort was 
about to make. 

The Baroness d'Anglures only sister of the 
Count de Beaumont, a widow lady who resided 
in the neighbourhood with her two daughters, 
had arrived at the chateau that morning to 
receive the young bride ; a letter received 
from her nephew the preceding day having 
notified to her his extraordinary resolution of 
departing forthwith for Constantinople. 

Madame d' Anglures, much startled by this 
announcement, and feeling deeply interested for 
her new relative, as did Josephine and Eulalie 
her daughters, had hastened to be on the spot 
when the young Baroness should arrive, in or- 
der ,by her sympathy and kiudnesSjto endeavour 



68 THE LADY OF 

to soften the situation in which De Montfort 
had so cruelly placed her. 

Isabelle was touched and flattered by this 
kind attention of Madame d* Anglures, who, 
though astonished that her nephew could ne- 
glect so much loveliness, soon perceived that 
Isabelle was indifferent to, if not satisfied 
with his proceedings, and that not even a 
spark of mortified vanity could be discerned 
in her artless deportment. In f\ict, for the 
first time since the death of her father, Isabelle 
had felt a buoyancy of spirits on entering 
the avenue which led to the old Chateau, that 
made her see everything in couleur de rose. 
All around her spoke of peace and liberty ; 
and when she beheld the engaging counten- 
ance of Madame d' Anglures, and was em- 
braced by Josephine and Eulalie as a cousin, 
it seemed to her, as if in leaving the flatteries 
and illusions of a court, she hud been at once 
transported into the bosjm of truth and friend- 
ship. 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 69 

Madame d' Anglures did the honours of the 
Chateau that evening, and introduced all the 
aged domestics to Isabelle, while Josephine 
and Eulalie, who knew every corner of it from 
infancy, led her through the long galleries and 
innumerable tapestried apartments, now cal- 
ling her attention to one window, to look at a 
distant view of the sea, then to another, to 
admire what a lovely deep dell it hung over, 
and how from a third,a flight of steps descended 
into the extensive hanging gardens, once so 
beautifully kept that strangers often came 
from a distance to see them, though now from 
want of the eye of a mistress, they looked in 
rather a forlorn condition, 

Isabelle had not seen more than half the 
Chateau when supper-time arrived, and soon 
after she retired to the apartments prepared 
for her. They were those formerly occupied 
by the late Countess de Beaumont, and looked 
out into a delicious little moon-lit glade. 



70 THE LADY OF 

Victorie was waiting to receive her lady, and 
Isabelle, fatigued from all the novelty and ex- 
citement of the evening, scarcely had laid her 
head upon the pillow, when she fell into a deep 
and refreshing sleep ; and the first object she 
beheld in the morning, was the smiling face of 
the pretjy Eulalie peeping between her cur- 
tains. 

The Baroness d' Anglures remained some 
weeks at the Chateau, w^ith Isabelle, assisting 
her to receive and return all the visits of the 
neighbouring gentry, and on her departure, at 
Isabelle's request, left Eulalie to bear her 
company. 

Eulalie was a charming, lively little brunette 
about seventeen years of nge,revelling in health 
and spirits, and delighting in all country 
amusements and employments. 

Disliking much stud}^, or anything that de- 
manded a great deal of attention, Eulalie was 
always gay, always bright, always occupied 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 71 

with a thousand innocent little schemes, some 
of them almost childish, but bringing joy with 
her wherever she appeared — flitting about like 
a butterfly, and living almost in the open air 
— enjoying the breeze, the sun, the flowers, and 
loving and watching over every young thing 
that was alivc.nowit was a nest of unfledged 
birds, which she had purchased from some mis- 
chevious urchins. Then a pet dove^ — a kitten 
" — a little dog, that engrossed all her cares : yet 
notwithstanding their great dissimilarity of 
character, never were two young friends more 
suited to each other than Isabelle and 
Eulalie. 

Isabelle's more grave turn of mind was a 
counterpoise to the wild animation of Eulalie, 
while Eulalie on her side prevented Isabelle 
from applying herself too much to sedentary 
pursuits. Thus, when Eulalie read or drew in 
the morning to please Isabelle, the latter was 
obliged to lay aside her books and pencils in the 
afternoon, and stray with her gay little com- 



72 THE LADY OF 

panion through every tangled path in the neigh- 
bouring woods — now up that steep track to the 
summit of the hill to gaze upon the sea — then 
through the meadows to watch the young lambs, 
and very often into the farm yard, to have a 
peep at all the live creatures there. Then they 
visited together all the farm houses, and poor 
cottages around — Isabella sketched out a plan 
for a school hou-e, and then there was to look 
out for a school mistress ; and to watch the 
progress of the building, while the Baroness 
d'Anglures frequently brouglit Josephine to 
spend the day with them, and to join in their 
pursuits — Sometimes too, though not very 
often, Isabelle invited a few of the neighbour- 
ing gentry in the evening, and then they had 
music and dancing, Madame d'Anglures being 
always of the party, and although Isabelle did 
not permit the remembrance of her strange 
marriage to trouble her repose, yet she never 
forgot that she was a Baroness and lady of her 
castle, and did the honours of her chateau with 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 73 

graceful dignity. And indeed there was nothing 
to recal the memory of her marriage to Tsabelle 
except as a painful dream that was past. She 
scarcely ever heard the name 'of the Baron de 
Montfort pronounced by any one — his relations 
studiously avoiding any allusion to him, and 
the old followers and tenantry, seeing there 
was something strange and mysterious in the 
Baron thus living away from his beautiful wife, 
whatever they might say amongst themselves 
on the subject, never made mention of him in 
h^r presence. 

Isabelle divided her time between reading, 
perfecting herself in the many accomplishments 
she already possessed — paying charitable visits 
to all her poor tenantry, who looked up to her 
as to something angelic, and in the primitive 
society and innocent recreations of her few 
near neighbours. Friendship for Eulalie and 
Josephine seemed to have supplanted all idea of 
love in her bosom, and her life passed away in a 
peaceful, calm, and sunshine. She could now 

VOL. I. E 



t1 THE LADY OF 

laugh as merrily as Eulalie, and climb the 
steepest hill with as light and elastic a step — 
* the nun like air ' had entirely vanished from 
her graceful figure, and a delicate and beautiful 
rose-colour tinted her before pale cheek, and it 
was universally allowed in the neighbourhood, 
that there was no one, half so good or half so 
lovely, as the young Baronesa de Montfort. 

*' He is coming — he is coming I" said Eulalie 
one morning, as she darted into the room where 
Isabelle was drawing, and throwing her arms 
playfully round the neck of the young Baroness 
made her give a sad splash to the picture on 
which she was employed. *' He is coming !" 
she exclaimed agnin, altnodt out of her wits 
with joy, and then she danced and waltzed in 
an ecstasy of delight about the room. 

*^ Who is coming, dear Eulalie?" said Isabelle 
laughing, " do pray come and sit down near 
me, and tell me all about it, while I try and 
wash out this sad spot in my picture." 

" Dear Isabelle forgive me," replied Eulalie 



THE BED-CHAMBER. V5 

kissing her — " it is all my fault but it is our 
old playmate and cousin, Pierre Delamare who 
has been absent for two years at the college in 
Paris, and is to be at our Chateau to-morrow 
on his way to the house of his guardian where 
he is to spend a few months before he come^ of 
age — here is a note from Josephine, and we are 
to go over and stay a week with mamma — that 
is, dear Isabelle," added she coaxingly, "if it 
will be agreeable to you." 

** Oh yes— it will be quite delightful, I long 
already to see your old playmate Eulalie," said 
Isabelle still laughing, " but how comes it that 
you never mentioned hitn to me before?" 

" I cannot tell how it was," replied Eulalie, 
and here she blushed deeply, ** just before he 
went to Paris, he was at his studies and we 
did not see a great deal of him — no — yes, I 
did see him certainly sometimes whilo he was at 
his guardian's house, which is only a league 
from this, but when we were very young we 
were always together and he used to climb the 
E 2 



76 THE LADY OF 

trees, and pull nuts for us, and bring me such 
beautiful bouquets of flowers — to Josephine as 
well as to me," added Eulalie, and again she 
blushed, "and then we had such games at 
Colin Maillard and Proverbs." 

" Then he will be a great acquisition indeed,' 
said Isabelle, glancing at Eulalie, but appearing 
to be very industriously employed in repairing 
the injury done to the drawling, *' for I sup- 
pose, if he be so good a hand at Colin Maillard^ 
he is likewise fond of dancing, and w^ould like 
to dance all the evening long as you do?" 

" Pierre was grown more grave when I saw 
him last," said Eulalie, "but he could dance 
and waltz without ever being tired ; but he is 
not too grave however, and he is so very 
clever that his godfather, the Archbishop of 

i said if he wou]^ go into the church he 

would certainly become a cardinal but ; I know 
Pierre will never take holy orders and he will 
soon be his ow^n master." 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 11 

" And then I suppose he will marry," said 
Isabelle, and settle down here very quietly." 

" I know not how that will be," replied 
Eulalie in some confusion, " but — oh ! there is 
my little pet fawn looking for me, I must fly 
to feed her — Good bye Isabelle," and Eulalie 
all smiles and blushes darted out of the room. 



t8 THE LADY OT 



CHAPTER Y. 



There, as in glist'ring glory she did sit, 
She held a great gold chaine ylinked well, 

Whose upper end to highest heaven was knit. 
And lower part did reach to lowest hell ; 

And all that prease did round about her swell. 
To catehen hold of that long chaine, thereby 

To climb aloft and others to excell ; 
. That was Ambition, rash desire to stie ; 

And ev'ry link thereof a step of dignitie. 

Spenser. 



Early the next day Isabelle, accompanied by 
the happy Eulalie, went to the Chateau d' 
Anglures^ 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 79 

It was an old-fashioned, gloomy- looking 
building occupying three sides of a court, 
which was shut in by a massy gate. The prin- 
cipal apartments, however looked into a hang- 
ing garden at one side of the Chateau, con- 
sisting of several terraces, and commanding a 
beautiful view of the hills and valleys around ; 
and on fete days, like the present, this suite of 
apartments being thrown open, Isabelle was 
conducted into the grand salon, where she 
found Madame d' Anglures with Josephine and 
several of their country neighbours whom they 
had invited, in order to have a merry party to 
welcome Pierre Delamare, who had been a 
great favourite in the neighbourhood. 

Isabelle looked behind for Eulalie, but she 
was flown to the garden, having recognised 
through a window in the gallery the figure of 
her cousin at. a distance. Yet although she 
had darted forward like a young fawn to meet 
him, an involuntary feeling of timidity made 



80 THE LADY OF 

her pause, and she would have flown back 
again had not the young man suddenly turned 
and exclaimed — 

"Eulaliel" 

Why did her heart beat so violently when 
he took her hand, and why did its pulsation as 
quickly cease for an instant when their eyes 
met ! Was he not the same Pierre Delamare 
as of yore ? What was it that thus chilled her 
young heart — was it a presentiment that a 
change had come over him ? The feeling, how- 
ever, vanished almost instantaneously. Tlie 
colour rose to Pierre's temples as he gazed 
upon Eulalie ; then he told her how well she 
looked, and how very glad he was to see her 
again ; and a softer expression took possession 
of his features, while a bright joy shone in his 
eyes. Soon, however, starting and checking 
himself, as if a sudden thought had flashed 
across his mind, he propos^ed, rather hurriedly, 
that they should join the company in the 
salon. 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 81 

Isabelle was much surprised whea she first 
beheld Pierre Delamare. From Eulalie's evi- 
dent partiality and the artless account she had 
given of him, she had represented to herself a 
gay, handsome, ingenuous-looking youth, not 
unlike the other young men in the province — 
perhaps a little more polished in manners and 
exterior, but she was not prepared for the 
thoughtful brow, the studious air, and the 
cold, dignified composure of the young man 
who now followed Eulalie into the salon. 

Handsome he decidedly was, but he wanted 
the frank, open expression of youth, and there 
was a reserve in his manners looks and speech, 
a sort of calculating caution, that seemed to 
throw a veil over his own thoughts and feelings, 
while he keenly analyzed those of others. 
Such was the impression he made upon Isabelle 
at first sight, and which a further acquaintance 
only served to confirm. That Eulalie liked him, 
although so very dissimilar to herself in every 
way, Isabelle saw at a glance, and yet sha felt 
E 5 



82 THE LADY or 

satisfied that Madame d' Anglures and Josephine 
were perfectly blind to this preference. But 
that Pierre Delamare had any attachment for 
Eulalie, was what she could not at all fathom, 
although her love and anxiety for her little 
friend mabe her study him narrowly. 

Notwithstanding, however, these nice ob- 
servations of Isabelle, the general opinion was, 
that two years' absence from the province had 
wonderfully improved Delamare. His polished 
manners and agreeable conversation, shewed 
that he had mixed in the best society, while it 
could easily be perceived, by the learning and 
erudition he displayed, when the conversation 
was turned upon scientific or learned points, 
by two or three old Abbes, who joined their 
eveninjj circle, that his studies had been severe 
and classical, and to all these advantages, he 
united an eloquent delivery, and a fine fiow of 
language, when he chose, that was sure to cap- 
tivate his hearers. 

He did not, however, captivate Isabelle, wha, 



THE BED-CHAMBEE. 83 

occupied in watching Eulalie, saw, with some 
pain, that her little favourite hung upon the 
words of Delamare, as if they had been so many 
oracles. It is certainly true, that he was the lion 
of the party, and that Madame d'Anglures, Jose- 
phine, Jiud all their guests, listened to him 
with unwearied attention; but Isabelie read, 
in the glowing cheek and speaking countenance 
of Eulalie, the gratified pride that one feels, 
in the triumph of a belove i object. 

'' Eulalie thinks of nothing but Delamare," 
said Isabelie, with a sigh, as she laid her head 
upon her pillow, " and it grieves me to the 
heart ; for if he ever did feel affection for her, 
worldly pursuits and pleasures have stifled the 
sentiment in his bosom, yet he must have 
made her believe so, one time or other.'' 

And Eulalie? Eulalie seated herself on 
the side of her couch, in her own little apart- 
ment, and as she slowly unbound the braids 
of her beiutiful hair, she thus soliloquized , — 

" Pierre has had no opportunity to speak 



84 THE LADY UF 

much to me to-day, but I am certain he loves 
me. Have not his eyes, his manner, told me 
so a thousand and a thousand times ! Yes, I 
know I may rely upon his faith and truth 
entirely. Tliat last sad evening, before he 
went to Paris — it was the close of a fete day, 
and we walked to the top of the Cote de 
Grace, to see what was going on — Ah ; 1 re- 
member it as if it were but yesterday — I 
stole away, as I thought unperceived, from 
mama and Josephine, into the little chapel, 
to hang up a votive offering for him, and to 
say a prayer, when I heard a step behind me, 
and was startled at beholding Pierre— did he 
not take my hand — did he not say to me : — 

" * Eulalie, when I am far away, hundreds of 
the youth of the province will sue for this dear 
hand, and thou wilt forget me, Eulalie — but, 
Eulalie, dear Eulalie— ' Ah! what would he 
not have said then, had not Josephine come 
running in, to tell us that the fireworks were 
just begun, and seizing my arm, drew me 



THE BED-CHAMBEB. 86 

away — ves, I know his heart is mine, and 
once he looked at me so tenderly to-day. 
How often has he said to me : — * Eulalie, 
when thou art absent, nothing is fair or beau- 
tiful in mine eyes !' — It is true, he is changed 
and become grave, but he is now a student, 
and can puzzle the good Abbot himself. Yes, 
I am sure he loves me !" 

Thus did Eulalie try to silence the vague 
fears of her little heart, and as she spoke, a 
large tear drop rolled down her cheek, but she 
soon fell asleep, and dreamed of Pierre, and 
how he walked with them through the forest 
glades, as in former times, and in the morning, 
when she awoke, she was gay and light-hearted 
as the lark. 

Pierre Delamare was an orphan and cousin 
to Madame d'Anglures three degrees removed. 
His mother had been her dearest friend and 
the young Delamare had always been a wel- 
come guest at her house. His small patri- 
mony in the neighbourhood, husbanded by a 



S6 TaE LADY OF 

careful guardian, and of which he would 
shortly come into possession, rendered him a 
suitable match for any young maiden in the 
province who had a small dowry of her own. 
A more worldly minded mother than Madame 
d'Anglures would have taken all these circum- 
stances into account and have built upon them 
accordingly ; but Madame d'Anglures, happy in 
the society of her daughters who were still 
very young, always tried to banish fro n her 
mind any idea of the possibility of her being 
separated from either of them, and having been 
always accustomed to feel for young Ddamare 
the interest of a mother, forgot that a warmer 
sentiment than that of a brother might attach 
him to Josephine or Enlalie. 

Josephine was not pretty but she was good 
and gentle, and having been always used to 
see the charming lively little Eulalie who was 
two years younger than herself, the caressed 
and petted of every one, it did not occur to 
her as anything remarkable that Pierre should 



THE BED- CHAMBER. 87 

always present the handsomest bouquets and 
finest fruits to her pretty sister, or carry 
Eulalie in his arms across the streams, v\ hen as 
children they rambled together, while he per- 
mitted her to pick her way over the stepping 
stones as well as she could. 

Yet unconscious as Madame d'Anglures and 
Josephine were of it, Pierre Delamare did love 
Eulalie d'Anglures better than anything in the 
world before he went to Paris — but two years 
had made a great alteration in the thoughts 
and day dreams of Pierre — another and a 
powerful passion was beginning, nay indeed 
had already made agieat progress in his bosom, 
and ambition had, during the last year in par- 
ticular, nearly erased the image of Eulalie from 
his heart. A new impulse had been given to 
all the powers and energies of his mind. Until 
the last year or two, he was ignorant of his 
own capabilities, now he knew that he had 
eloquence to enchain the attention of the 
multitude, whether he became a public speaker 



88 THE LADY OP 

at the bar or in the pulpit, with genius to 
master the most abstruse studies, and he deter- 
mined to win for himself both wealth and fame. 

His godfather who was Archbishop of , 

and whom lie had lately seen, had again urged 
him strenuously to enter into the church, pro- 
mising him assistance and patronage, and 
though Delamare had formerly rejected this 
advice, he now listened to it with far different 
feelings, and already a vision of unbounded in- 
fluence and high distinction, as a celebrated 
preacher, with an admiring audience in the 
foreground, and a dim perspective of a cardinal's 
hat in the distance, floated before the mind's 
eye of the ambitious youth. From the picture 
of an obscure gentleman, residing in a distant 
province, surrounded by an humble peasantry 
and a few country neighbours, unable to appre- 
ciate what he considered the high powers of 
his mind, he turned away with disgust, and he 
had now come to the Chateau d'Anglures with 
the intention of shewing the innocent Enlalie 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 89 

by the easy indifference and coldness of his 
deportment towards her, that the passionate 
love of the boy, was entirely obliterated from 
the heart of the man. 

Nevertheless, he had reckoned too much 
upon his own self-possession, and upon the 
power which the new view of life he had taken 
would have in controlling his feelings — and too 
little upon the increasing loveliness and fascina- 
tion of the artless Eulalie. The undissembled 
joy that sparkled in her eyes... the unwearied 
attention with which she hung upon his accents, 
while they flattered his vanity gave a sharp 
pang to his heart, and before the close of the 
first day of his visit to the Chateau d'Anglures, 
he sincerely repented that he had dared to ven- 
ture there. On the morning after his arrival 
he rose before the dawn, and wandered to the 
top of the Cote de Grace — there everything 
recalled to him the image of Eulalie, and the 
last few moments he spent alone with her in 



90 THE LADY OF 

the Chapel, on the evening before he went to 
Paris. 

** How fortunate," thought he, " that Jose- 
phine came running in at that instant, when I 
was on the point of swearing an eternal love to 
Eulalie — No, 1 am not bound to her by any 
vows — I am free — yet she is beautiful, and she 
loves me — Plow dangerous ! — but why should 
it be dangerous ? — Have I not made up my 
mind — Yes, T must forget Eulalie — Ah ! once 
I often said to myself, one day she will be mine 
— but to give up everything — power, honour, 
rank, wealth — No, I can never do it — What is 
love when placed in the scale with those bright 
hopes ! — but Eulalie — no I cannot leave her yet 
— 1 may see her, converse with her, walk with 
her as of yore — remembrance 1 — why cannot I 
tear thee from my heart ? — but I know my own 
strength, and I will not commit myself." 

Thus reasoned Pierre Delaniare. 

Isabelle remained a week at the Chateau 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 91 

d'Anglures, where Delamare still continued a 
guest, and all the time narrowly watched his 
behaviour to Eulalie, and thought that he even 
paid her less attention than he did to Josephine. 
Nevertheless, Eulalie looked bright and happy, 
and Tsabelle, convinced more than ever of her 
decided partiality for him, felt that she herself, 
had she been in her place, could not have been 
satisfied with so cold a lover. And yet at last 
she began to fancy, that he must love Eulalie, 
for two or three times she caught his eyes, when 
he appeared to tliink he was quite unobserved, 
gazing on her with evident admiration, and one 
particular morning she had seen in the maiden's 
hand a white rose, which Eulalie hastily pressed 
to her lips, and then hid within her bosom. 

'* He must have given it to her," thought 
Isabelle, "yet I like him not— he is neither 
candid or honest — why not, if he loves her, 
ask her hand in marriage of Madame d'Anglures 
— He will be his own master in a few months." 

Two days before Isabelle left the Chateau 



92 THE LADY OP 

she accompanied Madame d'Anglures, Jose- 
phine, Eulalie, and Delamare to a ball given 
by the Provost of the neighbouring town. It 
was very crowded, for all the gentry had been 
asked for ten leagues round. Among them all 
there was not one so lovely and gay as Eulalie 
d'Anglures, nor any, who at first enjoyed the 
dance with more vivid delight ; but before the 
end of the evening Isabelle observed, that a 
cloud had overcast her happy face. Pierre Dela- 
mare had danced once with her, and then, with 
his usual caution, had refrained from asking her 
again ; yet, although he did not choose to pay 
her any particular attention himself, he was in- 
wardly mortified and enraged at seeing the 
eldest eon of the Provost — a young man, who, 
without being handsome, had a good figure 
and an open and ingenuous countenance — 
dance with her several times, and apparently 
entertain her very agreeably with his animated 
conversation. 

This secret chagrin had given a moroseness 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 93 

to the manner of Pierre which he could not 
at all conceal, and on her making some lively 
remark to him in passing by the spot where he 
etood, his answer was so ungracious as to bring 
tears into her eyes. 

Poor Eulalie was pale and spiritless, and 
complained of head- ache the next morning. 
Whatever point they might have disagreed 
upon however, it seemed to be all made up 
in the course of that day and Eulalie 
looked as bright and beautiful as ever in the 
evening. A soft word, a look, a flower was 
all that her young and trusting spirit demanded, 
and with the sophistry of woman's passionate, 
disinterested love, he had been excused by her 
confiding heart in the wakeful reverie of the 
night, and the fault entirely attributed to some 
inadvertent word or action of her own. 
Could Pierre Delamare love her less than she 
loved him — or could he ever be in the wrone: — 
her heart responded — never. 

Yet all the time that Eulalie felt this de- 
voted love for Delamare, she was certain that 



94 THE LADY OP 

no eye, not even his, could read her secret 
sentiments and sometimes she thought within 
herself, 

*' Ah, it is Pierre*s uncertainty as to the 
state of my affections now, that prevents his 
being more explicit to me, and he does not 
like to ask my mother's consent, until he is 
entirely a free agent. 

The following day was a fair day at Honfleur 
and groups were collected in every direction 
upon the acclivities and summit of the beauti- 
ful Cote de Grace which commanded a view of 
Havre, with its forest of masts on the opposite 
side of the bay, and of the embouchure of the 
Seine, while on the other side it looked into a 
deep romantic valley. No one who has ever 
been on the top of the Cote de Grace can for- 
get the exquisite combination of marine and 
inland scenery which may be seen from every 
I ' vie V . 

It was towards the evening of this day that 
the party assembled at the Chateau d'Anglures, 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 95 

"Vvich two or three visitors who had been spend- 
ing the day there, might have been seen as- 
cending with loitering steps, the road which 
tortuously wound up one side of the Cote and 
pausing every now and then, to gaze upon the 
calm mirror-like bay, and to enjoy the gay 
spectacle around them. 

Here, peasants dressed in their holiday garb 
—that charming picturesque attire which rivets 
the eye of the stranger who comes from a land 
where all ape the costume of the higher ranks 
of society, were singing and dancing as if they 
had not a care upon earth, to the sound of a 
cornemuse w^iich an old man, elevated upon an 
empty barrel played with untiring energy. 
There, theatricals were performing in the open 
air, while close by, in a natural alcove of the 
rock, refreshments were preparing, and on 
every side wares of various kinds were dis- 
played in the most tempting disorder— some 
beneath tents, others spread out upon tlie 



96 THE LADY OP 

In short it seemed as if every one, even 
the poor lace makers, had laid aside their work 
and bid adieu to thought, determined upon 
having at least one day of uninterrupted enjoy- 
ment in their lives. 

Among the group, who formed the gny 
pedestrian party, thus ascending the Cote, 
and enjoying the delicious sea-breeze and 
perfumed air, together with the sight of 
so much merriment and hilarity, was the 
son of the Provost of Honfleur, Henri Des- 
guey by name, and the same who had ex- 
cited the secret jealousy of Pierre Delamare 
the night of the ball, by dancing so much 
with Eulalie. Tsabelle observed, that this 
youth would willingly have engrossed the con- 
versation of Eulalie, that his eyes wandered 
after her incessantly, and that he was visibly 
mortified, at the pertinacity with which she 
avoided walking beside him. Josephine, on 
the contrary, evinced, by her heightened 
colour whenever he addressed her, that what- 



THE BED-GHAMBER. 9f 

ever his attentions might be to Eulalie, they 
were not at all indifferent to her, and weary 
at last, of trying to amuse or interest, the 
apparently volatile Eulalie, the young man 
joined himself to the group, of which Jose- 
phine made oncj and being really very agreea- 
ble, kept them in unceasing merriment by his 
droll remarks. 

Delamare attached himself entirely to Ma- 
dame d'Anglures, and an elderly lady who 
accompanied her, while Eulalie kept close to 
Isabelle, chatting, laughing, amused with, 
and admiring everything, but what attracted 
her more than all besides, was a little female 
ballad singer — a Bretonne, whose crimson 
handkerchief, surmounted by a snow white 
chemisette, dark green jacket, short petticoat, 
and little apron, of pale violet colour, set off 
wonderfully, her small and delicate figure, 
while her gold earrings and picturesque head- 
dress, with the gold chain and cross suspended 
round her neck, and her tiny shoes, orna-- 

VOL. I. F 



98 THE LADY OF 

mented with large silver buckles, gave an air 
of elegance to her whole appearance. 

Eulalie sprang forward to arrest her steps 
and to purchase some of her wares, and suc- 
ceeded in obtaining two or three ballads, but 
so pretty was the little Bretonne, that her 
whole stock was nearly exhausted, no one 
having allowed her to pass, without purchasing 
somethi/]-g. 

" Where are your parents, or are you all 
alone in the fair, my little maiden?" said 
Eulalie to the young girl, who did not appear 
more than twelve years of age. 

" I am an orphan, Mademoiselle,*' replied 
the girl, '' and I and my little brother live 
T\ith our grandfather, and accompany him 
from fair to fair. There he is yonder, an old, 
blind man, playing the cnrnemvse.''^ 

And the child pointed to the performer, 
who was seated on the top of the empty bar- 
rel. « 



THE BSD-CHAMBER. 99 

" And that is my little brother, standing 
beside him, with the dog." 

" And what is your name ?" demanded 
Eulalie. 

" Angelique," replied the girl. " I sell 
ballads, and Jean and the dog take care of my 
grandfather." 

" Your grandfather is not very poor, I hope 1" 
said Eulalie. 

'* Oh, no!" replied the child, **he gets a 
great deal of money at the fairs, and often we 
spend a week together in some farmhouse, and 
we go to all the weddings... but Jean beckons 
me, and I must get my grandfather his sup- 
per." 

So saying, the pretty Bretonne dropped a 
curtsey, and hastened away. 

At length the deepening twilight warned 
them that it was time to depart, and Henri 
Desguey, volunteeriDg to shew the party a 
short way back to the Chateau, led them 
towards the steepest side of the Cote, which 
P 2 



100 THE LADY OF 

presented a rugged and almost perpendicular 
descent, by a narrow path through a thick 
cover of copse-wood, downthe declivity. The 
moon and the stars shone brightly, through 
the tangled branches above their heads, and 
the glowworms, emulatiDg the stars in bright- 
ness, sparkled among the dewy grass and the 
wild flowers, whose sweetness, drawn forth 
by the night air, shed a delicious perfume at 
their feet. 

The gay little party, however, found their 
way without much difficulty. The old Pro- 
vost escorted Isabelle ; and Eulalie, who was 
the last that entered the path, found, with a 
throbbing heart, that Pierre Belamare, who 
had stood aloof all the evening was at her 
side. 

With what words he more than ever bound 
her trusting young heart to his, we will not 
seek to discover. Perchance we might find it 
was but a sigh^ a pressure of the hand, a half- 
littered sentence. It is sufficient to know that 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 101 

he did not ask permission to demand her hand 
of her mother— he did not say Eulalie, I lov,e 
thee 1 No — Pierre Delamare had never made 
an open avowal of his love ; and yet Eulalie 
laid her head upon her pillow that night, con- 
vinced that his whole heart was hers alone. 

Nevertheless Pierre Delamare spent a watch- 
ful night himself. He felt that with his pre- 
sent intention of entering the church, he was 
acting madly in thus delaying at the Chateau d' 
Anglures^ The sharp fit of jealousy which had 
seized him at the ball, on perceiving the gay 
and lively deportment of Eulalie towards young 
Desguey, had shewed him that he was not so 
much the master of his own heart as he had 
imagined, and he now could not help acknow- 
ledging to himself that had their walk down 
that fairy- lit pathway been of much longer 
duration, he would have been tempted to forget 
his ambitious hopes, and all the world, and have 
bound himself to his lovely little companion by 
spoken vows; and he congratulated himself that 



102 THE LADY OP 

he had escaped this dangerous temptation But 
he never thought what might be the effect of 
his vacillating behaviour upon the happiness 
and peace of mind of Eulalie. 

" If I had a hundred thousand francs a- 
year, instead of twenty thousand," he mentally 
exclaimed, " I would, without a doubt, marry 
Eulalie, and think no more of the Archbishop's 
promises, but in the present state of things it is 
impossible." 

Early on the following morning Delamare 
left the Chateau d' Anglures, and in the course 
of the same day the Baroness de Montfort, 
accompanied by Eulalie, returned to her own 
home. 



THE BED' CHAMBER; 103 



CHAPTER ¥L 



Let me confess tliat we two must be twain 

Although our undivided loves are one : 
So shall those blots that do with me remain, 

Without thy help, by me be borne alone. 
In our two loves there is but one respect, 

Though in our lives a seperable spite ; 
Which though it alter not love's sole effect, 

Yet doth it steal sweet hours from love's delight. 

ShaTcspeare^ 



It is now time that we should return to the 
Baron de Moutfort, and see what became of 
bim after his ill-stared raarrlaore with Isabelle- 



104 * THE LADY OF 

Our readers will remember, that we \eh 
him, with a small party of attendants, at a few 
leagues distance from Paris, taking a different 
road from the one that Isabelle was travellings 
His intention was to proceed with all speed to 
Yienna, and from thence to take the route to 
Constantinople, there to join his uncle, who was 
Ambassador at that Court. 

His separation from Clementine on the pre« 
ceeding day had been passionate and absorbing. 
A thousand times he vowed never to feel at- 
tachment for another, and a thousand times, 
cold and calculating as she was, did she ap- 
parently respond to his affection... We say 
apparently; for while his love was true and 
undisguised, she, volatile and incapable of a 
real attachment, began to be terrified at his 
despair, and, while she promised eternal friend- 
ship and a constant correspondence by letter, 
felt that whatever preference she might have 
had for him was already nearly vanished, and 
that she must now look around, as the old 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 105 

Marquis, her husband, was declining very fast, 
and try to attract some other nobleman, a mar- 
riage with whom, would still give her a place 
at Court ; as otherwise, on the death of the 
Marquis, her very insignificant jointure would 
oblige her to retire immediately into the countryo 
Such were the thoughts that flashed across her 
mind while the young Baron poured forth his 
unfeigned regrets. 

The Marchioness de Varville was one of those 
women who, with a large share of vanity and 
a cold, intriguing temperament, delight in being 
the object of a serious passion, while hedged 
round themselves, not by principle, but by an 
incapability, from a profound selfishness of 
character, of feeling any real attachment, can 
stand on the brink of the precipice without the 
least danger of fallinoj. 

Travelling and change of scene mitigated in 

some degree, the distraction of the Baron^ 

nevertheless the image of Clementine was ever 

uppermost in his mind. He arrived at Vienna. 

F 5 



106 THE LADY OF 

without meeting with anything worthy of nar- 
ration, and from thence travelled through Hun- 
gary to Temeswar, a strong fortress on the 
frontier, being accompanied only by his valet, 
FranQois la Porte, the other attendants pro- 
ceeding more slowly with his baggage. At 
Hermanstadt, finding that his luggage train was 
far behind, he left the valet to await its arrival, 
appointing Rothentliurm, or the Eed Tower, as 
the place of rendezvous, proposing to remain 
there till they should join him, and took him- 
self his solitary way towards the above men- 
tioned place, which was not far distant from 
the passage into Wallachia over the Car- 
pathian mountains. 

Transylvania was at this period divided into 
different Palatinates, each one governed by its 
own prince or chief. It is surrounded on all 
sides by bigh mountains, which seem to shut it 
out from the rest of the world. Following the 
windings of a rapid river, the Baron rode on 
for some time without interruption. He had 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 107 

been informed on entering Transylvania, that 
it was at this time a prey to intestine divisions 
in consequence of the recent death of one of 
the native Princes or Palatines ; that the acces- 
sion belonged of right to Una his only child 
and heiress, but that it was contested with her 
by two pretenders — One, the nephew of the 
deceased Palatine, was willing to wave what 
he considered his claim, and jom his interests 
with hers by a marriage ; and it was said, that 
the dying Palatine, foreseeing what evils were 
likely to accrue on his death, had betrothed 
her to him — the other, a Wallachian Chieftain, 
determined to get possession of her territory, 
put forth no other claim than what a large 
armed force of his own, assisted by a troop of 
mercenaries, might give him — Indeed Herman- 
stadt, where he, the Baron, had past the nighty 
gave evidence to the truth of this account, as 
there seemed to be sentinels placed upon its 
ramparts, and proofs in the bustle and hurry of 
the good citizens of the town before the dawB* 



108 THE LADT OF 

ing of the day, that they did not feel themselves 
quite at their ease. 

De Montfort, however, saw and heard all 
these testimonies of the insecure state of the 
country without giving any heed to them, being 
naturally of a fearless disposition, and from the 
mood he was in, coveting a solitary ride through 
the wild and magnificent scenery, which now 
opened on his viewas he turned his horse's head 
in the direction of the celebrated pass of the 
Kothenthurm, and beheld, far over topping the 
pine forests, the Carpathian mountains whose 
lofty glaciers were tinted by the rising sun with 
a thousand colours as bright as they were 
fleeting. 

The Baron, throwing the bridle upon the 
neck of his steed, pursued a horse track along 
the bank of the river, which he understood 
would bring him, towards the close of day, to 
the Red tower. He had proceeded at a slow 
pace for several leagues, occupied by a thou- 
sand melancholy ideas, yet with more calmness, 



.'THE ^'BED-CHAMBEE. 109 

and less weight upon his spirits than he had 
felt since leaving Paris; the songs of birds, the 
rustling of the, leaves, the soft murmuring of 
wind and water, and above all, the perfect 
loneliness that surrounded himjsoothing, soften- 
ing, and allaying the regrets in which he in- 
dulged. 

The valleys, hills, and surrounding country 
had disappeared from his eyes, the river now 
winding through a thick covert of pine trees, 
and underwood, whose branches sometimes 
crossing the path, obliged him to alight and 
lead his horse. 

As De Montfort was thus leisurely pro- 
ceeding on foot, his reveries were suddenly 
interrupted by the sound of voices, which 
seemed not to be far off, and on turning an 
angle made by a projecting rock, he perceived 
five ruffianly looking poldiers in a thicket 
hard by, partaking of some coarse refreshment. 
On observing him they immediately sprung 
up, and seizing their swords, which lay on the 



110 THE LADY OF 

grass beside them, desired him, in barbarous 
German, to stand and deliver up his pur.«e and 
arms. 

De Montfort who was brave even to rash- 
ness, seeing that he must either surrender or 
defend himself, answered their demand by 
placing his back against the rock, and drawing 
a loaded pistol from bis breast, declared, in 
German, which he spoke very fluently, that he 
w^ould fire at the first who approachedc A loud 
shout ofderision was their reply, as they simul- 
taneously hastened forward. The report of a 
pistol was immediately heard, and the foremost 
ruffian fell upon the ground, while De Mont- 
fort, throwing away the pistol, and being a 
capital swordsman, defended himself with 
great skill against the other four. 

Nevertheless, the combat being so unequal, 
he must inevitably, in the end, have fallen a 
sacrifice to their fury, had not a young man in 
the Greek military costume, and apparently, 
from his habiliments, of a rank above the 



THE BED-CHAMBER. Ill 

soldiers, at this moment approached, and seeing 
a young stranger set upon by four men, loudly 
called upon them to desist. 

The infuriated soldiers, however, paid no 
regard to his orders and menaces, one of them 
turning round and declaring that they were 
not under his command, and that they were all 
resolved to avenge the death of their comrade. 

The Greek, who was rapidly advancing, came* 
up as the soldier had finished his reply, and 
making use of his sword with vigour and dex- 
terity, so ably assisted De Montfort that the 
ruffians were soon put to flight, but not without 
their having received some severe wounds. 
De Montfort was but slightly injured, notwith- 
standing the unequal number he had had to 
contend with ; and warmly thanking his deli- 
verer, told him his name and rank, and how it 
happened that he was alone and without at- 
tendants in that solitary spot. 

The Greek, in return, informed him that he 
himself was called Ivan, and that he was captain 



112 THE LADY OF 

of a troop of mercenaries, who had taken ser- 
vice with Count Herman. He likewise added 
that parties of soldiers were straying about in 
various directions, waiting until a hasty mar- 
riage should be solemnized between the Lady 
Una and her cousin Count Maurice, and that 
the latter on receiving the hand of the maiden 
from her guardian. Count Herman, was topro- 
*ceed immediately at the head of his and her 
vassals, assisted by Count Herman, against a 
neighbouring Wallachian chieftain, who was on 
his way with the intention of besieging her 
castle. 

" Thp. Lady Una doth not affect this mar- 
riage," continued the Greek, *' and hath de- 
layed the celebration of it from day to day, to 
the great displeasure of Count Maurice, who is 
of an imperious and selfish disposition. He is 
a dark-browed and revengeful-looking chief- 
tain, and beshrew me if he is worthy so fair a 
bride. Her father, wounded to the death in a 
skirmish on the frontier, died about three 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 113 

months ago in his Castle, which is but a 
league distant from the entrance of this 
forest. Finding his last moments approaching 
fast, he sent express to Hermanstadt, for his 
friend Count Herman, and appointing him 
guardian of the Lady Una, made him swear 
upon th« cross and his good sword, to see lier 
united to Count Maurice, her cousin, hoping, 
by this means, to secure her the peaceable 
possession of the territory he bequeathed her, 
and which Count Maurice claimed, though 
without any legal right to it, as male heir." 

** And Count Herman — has he fulfilled the 
oath he took to the dying Palatine ?" inquired 
De Montfort 

** Count Herman is the soul of honour," 
replied Ivan, *' and though enchanted with 
the beauty of the Lady Una, who he now 
beheld for the first time since her childhood, 
as he had been several years in the service of 
a foreign Prince, has done all in his power to 
expedite this marriage, but the Lady Una^ 



114 THE LADY OF 

who had always disliked Count Maurice, struck 
by the contrast between him and Count Her- 
man, who in person, is as handsome and noble- 
looking, as he is generous and chivalric in 
disposition, now, more than ever, hated her 
cousin, answering all his haughty demands for 
their immediate union, with tears and sighs, 
and would in truth, never have consented to 
it, had she not at last been wrought upon, by 
the earnest entreaties of her guardian, to 
whose heart, it is suspected, the marriage will 
give as keen a pang, as to that of the unfortu- 
nate maiden.*' 

As Ivan finished this recital, they emerged 
from the forest, and beheld before them, on 
the acclivity of an opposite hill, a church, 
apparently much dilapidated, round which 
were loitering several small parties of soldiers, 
while in the distance, might be seen the towers 
of the Lady Una's Castle. 

*' It must be about the time the ceremony 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 115 

should commence," said Ivan. *' Suppose we 
climb the hill, and enter the church." 

To this proposition, De Montfort willingly 
consented, and the Greek, beckoning to one 
of his own troop, who happened to be at a 
short distance, and desiring him to hold the 
Baron's horse, they ascended the hill by a 
rugged path, and entering the church by a 
side door, placed themselces behind one of the 
pillars, at no great distance from the altar, 
from whence, secure themselves from ob- 
servation, they could see all that was going 
on. 

The aisle of the church was filled v/ith 
armed knights and soldiers, and through a 
narrow gothic window, close by to where he 
stood, De Montfort could perceive, in a valley, 
towards which he looked, a glittering of arms 
and waving of colours, as if a large body 
of soldiers were encamped there. 

A priest, arrayed in his sacred vestments, stood 



116 THE LADY OF 

beside the altar, while before him knelt a youth 
of about four or five-and-twenty years of age, 
whose coarse features, flushed face, and angry 
brow, gave him more the air of a captain of 
banditti than that of a Transylvanian noble- 
man, and near the youth knelt a maiden of ex- 
quisite loveliness, but with a cheek and lip as 
colourless as monumental marble, resembling 
some beautiful statue of despair fresh from the 
chisel of an ancient sculptor, so still, so hope- 
less was the expression of her countenance 
She had apparently but just attained the verge 
of womanhood, and like an early snow-drop, 
which some careless hand has plucked and 
thrown away, seemed blighted before her 
charms were half unfolded. Standing behind 
her, and bending as it were over her, was the 
form of a knight in complete armour — His 
etately figure, and powerfully though symmetri- 
cal proportions, proclaimed him to have attained 
the most perfect a^e of manhood, but his bent 



"HUB BED-CHAMBER. 117 

Head was shaded by his cap and plume, and 
only the profile of his noble countenance could 
be seen, 

" How pale the Lady Una looks !" whispered 
Ivan. ** I wot she would far rather have Death 
for her bridegroom than Count Maurice — I like 
him not — he is of a fiery and revengeful spirit, 
and will lock her up in a dungeon if she shows 
any coldness towards him after marriage. 
That noble knight, who stands behind her 
with his plumed cap pulled over his brow, and 
his eyes fixed upon the ground, is Count Her-^ 
man, he it is who, as her guardian, must give 
away her hand. I would plunge a dagger in 
the heart of my Anastasia sooner than thus 
bestow her on another.'^ 

^* "JVhat! and break your oath,'' replied De 
Montfort, in the same low tone. 

*' Death should cancel my oath,^' returned 
Ivan, " I would kill her first, and then my- 
self." 

During this short colloquy the ceremony had- 



I ' 8 THE LADY OF 

begun, and soon the moment arrived when 
Count Herman was to give away the bride. 

As the Knight raised his head De Montfort 
caught a glimpse of his f^ice. He was deadly 
pale, and cold drops of perspiration stood upon 
his brow— the veins of his forehead seemed 
swelled with intense agony, and his lip quivered 
with suppressed emotion — Ye^ ! he loved her 
himself — he knew that he W'S beloved, yet 
honour compelled him to give her hand to Count 
Maurice. 

Once only had she raised her eyes to his 
since they had entered the church — one despair- 
ing, hopeless, entreating look — De Montfort 
perceived that look — he saw that Count Her- 
man hr,d averted his head, and that she had 
not dared to look at him again — Alas ! poor 
Una knew not that >his anguish was as deep, if 
not deeper than her own ; but she felt that his 
fingers were as cold as the marble on which she 
knelt, when, taking her small hand in his, he 
gave away what he most prized upon earth. 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 119 

The ceremony is over — Count Maurice takes 
a cold and hurried farewell of his almost inani- 
mate bride, who surrounded immediately by 
her female attendants is conveyed to the castle, 
while knights and soldiers hastily leaving the 
church prepare at once to march towards the 
pass of the Kothenthurm, hoping, by a sudden 
surprise, to intercept the Wallachian Chieftain 
on his entrance into Transylvania, and by one 
decisive conflict to put an end to the frequent 
invasions and skirmishes which had taken place 
of late. 

On alighting from the litter in which she 
had been cai'ried to her castle, the Lady Una 
retired into her own apartment in the deepest 
despondency, not even her nurse, ^vho had long 
been in the pay of Count Maurice, was ad- 
mitted; and here she remained alone all that 
day and night, a thousand vague and fearful 
thoughts crossing her imagination. She knew 
that Count Maurice would not,in all probability, 
return to the castle until the latter end of the 



120 THE LADY OF 

following day, and she was determined to have 
the intermediate time to herself to give free 
vent to the anguish of her soul. 

The spirits of the air and of the waters that 
wandered in the pine forests around, pitied her 
despair; and paused to listen to her lamenta- 
tions, as, out watching the stars, she sat in her 
turret window, and looked out upon the wild 
forests, and the distant hills, and into the dark 
waters of the Aluta which flowed beneath the 
castle walls. 

Hear the lament of the lady Una, as her 
sighs were borne on the night wind. 

*' Fain would I hide from thee for ever ! 

A love so crost j 
I would not that thou should'st discover, 

How I am lost. 
Lost I — yes, for I have madly given 

My heart, unsought — 
My maiden pride — my hopes are riven, 

And low are brought. 
What recks it in whose eyes I fair shone., 

Since not in thine ? 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 121 

Hio' true and faithful hearts I have won, 

I gave not mine. 
And many deem'd that earthly passion. 

Could ne'er move me, 
So €old I heard each fond confession — 

'T was not from thee. 
A melancholy tint is shading, 

My once calm brow — 
To ashy hue my cheek is fading 4 

Must I live now ! 
When twilight heav'n and earth is veiling. 

Pensive I stray : 
WJiat thoughts are in my bosom ste-aling, 

I dare not say." 



VOL. I. <i^ 



122 THE LADT OF 



CHAPTER VIL 



Well mote ye wonder how that noble knight 
After he had so often wounded been, 

Could stand on foot now to renew the fight : 
But, had ye then him forth advancing seen, 
Some new-born wight ye would him surely ween ; 

So fresh he seemed and so fierce in sight ; 
Like as a snake, whom winter's teen 

Hath worn to nought, now feeling summer's might, 

Casts off his ragged skin and freshly doth him dight. 

Spenser* 



De Montfort felt very melancholy on leav- 
ing the church. The ceremony he had just 
witnessed, brought forcibly before him his own 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 123 

IS n wished -for marriage with Isabelle, and to 
dissipate those disagreeable retrospections, he 
determined to join the party he had fallen in 
with, and proceed with them against the Wal- 
lachians. 

The young Greek heard his resolution with 
much pleasure ; and telling him that it was 
agreed that all the different companies should 
meet at a spot about the distance of three 
leagues from the churchj proposed that they 
should ride thither in company, and that there 
he w^ould introduce him to Count Herman, 
who, he had no doubt, would be proud of his 
friendship and assistance 

This being arranged, and Ivan getting his 
troop together, they proceeded, at a pretty quick 
pace, towards the place of rendezvous, convers- 
ing all the way as they rode side by side. 

There was a frank, open expression, in the 

young Greek's countenance, and a freedom 

and spirit in his demeanour, which, independent 

of the obligation he was under to him, made 

G 2 



124 THE LADY OF 

De Montfort feel a lively interest in all that 
concerned him, and he did not therefore lose 
this opportunity, of eliciting from him some 
account of his past life, and asking a question 
or two about the young girl, for whom Ivan 
had avowed so strong an attachment. 

His history was very simple. He was born 
in a little valley, close to the village of Umar 
Fakill, in the province of Roumelia. His 
father, who had been a Greek merchant, was 
still alive, and had purchased the spot of 
ground v»hich he now employed himself in 
cultivating ; but as he had several children, 
among whom he intended to divide his small 
inheritance, Ivan, who was the youngest of 
them, early embraced the profession of arms, 
and becoming a soldier of fortune, endeavoured 
to make his own way in the world, and to 
enrich himself, sufficiently, so as to enable 
him, one day or other, to wed his Anas- 
tasia. 

" We have loved since childhood," said the 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 125 

young Greek, " but as yet we are too poor to 
marry; nevertheless, in a few years, I hupe 
to return to her — then I will change my sword 
into a plough- share, and settling among my 
old friends and neighbours, and purchasing a 
field or two in the valley, will build a little 
cottage there, and live in peace and tranquillity 
with my Anastasia. Should we find ourselves 
very poor, I shall always have my sword as a 
resource, and then, during my absence, Aaas- 
tasia will employ herself at her spinning and 
embroidery, and will watch and pray for my 
speedy return." 

" And is your Anastasia very beautiful," 
enquired De Montfort. 

*' Yes," replied the Greek, *' lovely as is 
the Lady Una, my Anastasia is still lovelier. 
Could you have seen her, when she represented 
Flora in the May dances last year, her long 
black ringlets ornamented with the flowers I 
plucked for her, and her dark eyes radiant 
with joy and animation, you would have pro- 



126 THE LADY OF 

nounced her bewitching. There is no maiden 
in Eoumelia, who can, in the least degree, 
compare with her» and aU the youths have 
long enyied me the possession of her heart." 

Conversing in this manner, our travellers 
beguiled the way, until they reached the spot 
where the troops were asseinbied, of which 
Count Maurice commanded his own vassals 
and those of the Lady Una, while Count 
Herman led on his followers, and the Greek Sj, 
of which Ivan was Captain. The latter imme- 
diately introduced the young Baron to Count 
Herman, mentioning who he was, his adven- 
ture with the soldiers, and why he had been 
travelling without attendants. The Count 
received De Montfort with great urbanity, and 
hearing his intention was to accompany them^ 
gladly accepted his assistance, saying that a 
single arm like his, was worth a troop of 
soldiers. De Montfort was much pleased with 
the air and manner of Count Herman, which 
bespoke at once the brave soldier and the 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 127 

accomplished nobleman. His handsome coun 
tenance though grave, was calm and collected, 
and he looked like one, who, born to command 
the multitude, is perfect master over himself. 
De Montfort could scarcely think, it was across 
that serene and dignified brow, that he had 
seen the storm of passion fiercely sweep, with 
such devastating violence, a few hours before. 
So the blue ocean, after the whirlwind has 
passed away, conceals the abysses beneath its 
waves, and retains no traces of the tempest, 
that has perchance shipwrecked many a poor 
mariner. 

The scouts, who had been sent forward 
through the pass of the Carpathian Mountains, 
were by this time returned, and reported that 
the Wallachians were encamped at the other 
side of the mountain, purposing to cross the 
river Olta Alp before the break of day. Count 
Maurice on being apprised of the enemy's 
position, determined to push on directly, and 
endeavour to surprise the camp in the early 



128 THE LADY OF 

part of the night. To this plan Count Herman 
was opposed, seeing that, after passing the 
river, the way was partly througli a bog, and 
partly over deep ravines crosf-ed by means of 
trunks of trees laid over them, and often along 
the edge of a precipice, and that by awaiting 
the arrival of their opponents on the banks of 
the Olta Alp, they would have them at a 
much greater advantage. To this advice, how- 
ever, Count Maurice, who was hot-headed and 
self-opinionatedy turned a deaf ear, and as much 
the largest proportion of the soldiers were under 
his command, proceeded immediately to put his 
own suggestions into practice by crossing the 
river, leaving Connt Herman, who foresaw the 
probable result of his enterprise, with his own 
followers, and the Greek soldiers, to act as he 
thought fit. 

The Wallachian force, which was large, 
having amongst them a great number of Turks, 
all accustomed to sudden skirmishes and sur- 
prises, were 0!i the alert, and Count Maurice 



THE BED-CHAMBEK. 129 

paid the price of his rashness, by falling in the 
first melee ^ having had a Turkish sabre run 
through his body. His men retreated in great 
disorder, several of them being cut to pieces, 
while the Wallachians, thinking the entire 
body had come on, made sure of an easy victory, 
and of being speedily in possession of the Lady 
Una's castle. But in this expectation they 
found themselves egregiously disappointed ; for 
although Count Herman had much difficulty in 
arresting any of the vassals of the Lady Una 
in their flight, yet as he vras an officer of great 
skill himself, and being likewise well seconded 
by the dauntless bravery of De Montfort, and 
the courage of Ivan and his troop, he had 
managed to place his small body of men in so 
advantageous a position, commanding a ravine 
through which' the Wallachians were obliged to 
pass in order to reach the Olta Alp, that, not- 
withstanding their numbers, they found it im- 
possible to proceed, and were at last obliged to 
G 5 



130 THE LADY OF 

retreat in great confusion beyond the moun- 
tains. 

The body of Count Maurice, w hlcli bad been 
brought away by his vassals, was now placed 
upon a bier hastily made of branches of trees 
for the purpose, and his scattered followers, now 
that all was over, being willing enough to obey 
Count Herman, were gathered together, and 
they all proceeded at a slow puce back in the 
direction of the Lady Una's castle, Count 
Herman having first besought De Montfort to 
turn his steps thither likewise, and partake of 
the hospitality of the Lady Una lor a few days, 
until the funeral of Count Maurice should take 
place, when, as he himself should then return 
to his own cat^tle near Hermanstadt, he would 
entreat him to become his guest, promising that 
he would show him some good sport in boar 
bunting. 

To all these kind solicitations however De 
Montfort returned a negative for the present. 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 131 

promising that at some future period he would 
not fail to recollect his invitation, and would 
come and spend a month with him, when he 
should greatly enjoy the promised amusement 
of boar hunting. 

After many regrets at thus parting so soon, 
Count Herman bade them adieu, first insisting 
that the young Greek, with a portion of his men 
should remain withDe Montfort at Rothenthurm 
until his attendants arrived, and should then 
escort them through the province of Walla- 
chia, and as he would take no denial to this pro- 
position, in which Ivan joyfully concurred, the 
Baron consented, and did so the more readily 
as it would give him a further opportunity of 
improving his acquaintance with Ivan, to 
whom, avS we said before, he had taken a great 
liking. 

They spent the intermediate time before the 
Baron's attendants arrived, in conversing of 
Count Herman and the Lady Una, and the 
probability of their being happily united when 



132 THE LADY OF 

the customary period of her mourning should 
have expired. 

"The Lady Una will bring him a rich 
doury," said Ivan, " for the inheritance of 
Count Maurice will now be added to her own ; 
and Count Herman, though brave and high 
minded, is poor. Truly it would rejoice my 
soul to see that lovely maiden kneel with him 
before the altar. — I felt their distress to my 
heart's core, yesterday morning, when the noble 
Herman gave her away. Ah ! I would wager 
anything, the rose will now soon re-visit her 
beautiful cheek and lip agffin." 

" Thou art poetical, good Ivan," replied the 
Baron, scarcely suppressing a smile at his 
young friend's enthusiasm, although he too 
was warmly interested in the future prospects 
of the lovers. 

" Can anything be more dreadful,'' inquired 
Ivan, with much energy, *' than to marry one 
person and love another ?" 

The Baron started and changed colour at 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 133 

this observation, which Ivan perceivinf]^, ex- 
pressed his fear that he was fatigued and un- 
well from the unceasing exertion of so many 
hours of travelling and fighting without any 
rest. 

*' It is a sudden spasm/' said the Baron, *' but 
it will pass quickly. I think a little rest will 
be of service to me, and I will therefore lie 
down for half an hour beneath the shade of 
this tree." 

So saying, the Baron, wrapping his cloak 
around him, threw himself upon a green bank 
beside the stream by which they had been walk- 
ing, and Ivan left him to his thoughts, but not 
to rest. 

Nevertheless those meditations were of use 
to him. He reflected upon the power Count 
Herman had exercised over hiuiself — upon his 
serene and dignified manner after having had 
passions so ovew helming to contend vvith,and he 
determined that it was much nobler for a man 
to stifle his regrets and hide them from the 



134 THE LADY OF 

world, than thus to allow himself to be the 
prey of unavailing melancholy. Wherefore 
when the young Greek appreared again, he 
received him with a cheerful, unconstrained 
manner, which led him to suppose that in 
reality he had been only fatigued. 

In the course of half an hour more Fran- 
9ois and the rest of the Baron's attendants 
arrived. It was now mid-day, and they had 
time to travel several leagues before evening, 
BO, after partaking of some refreshment, they 
left Ruthen-thurm, and De Mont fort with 
Ivan, who had taken the precaution of sending 
on a small party of his men before them to see 
that the way was clear of any stragglers, pro- 
ceeded leisurely side by side through the steep 
mountain tracks which led into the neighbour- 
ing province of Wallachia. 

They were in hopes of being able to reach a 
small village at the foot of the mountain on the 
Wallachian side before the close of day, but in 
this they were disappointed as the passage over 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 135 

the mountains proved much more rugged and 
intricate than they had reckoned upon, besides 
which, in order to avwid some of the deep 
ravines where they knew the rude bridges, 
made by trunks of trees thrown across, had 
been destroyed during the late skirmish, they 
had made a detour which added to the length of 
the way, so that twilight found them on a wild' 
acclivity skirting the edge of a precipitous 
glen or rather clift in the mountain, at the 
bottom of which the roaring of a torrent was 
beard as it leaped from crag to crag 

The sides of this ravine were clothed with a 
thick wood, from whence immense masses of 
bare rock protruded, but the shelter of even 
a bush was denied to our travellers, as the spot 
on which they stood, was a stony waste appear- 
ing to stretch out interminably around them, 
and showing only a scanty covering of moss 
and coarse grass. The horses being quite 
fatigued and unable to proceed any further, it 
became necessary to consider how they were to 



136 THE LADY OF 

pass the night. De Montfort and Ivan, who 
had led their horses for several miles, as the 
paths were too rugged, and the footing too un- 
certain to permit of their riding, were in deep 
consultation as to what they had best do, while 
a thick wetting rain rendered their situation 
anything but agreeable, when they perceived a 
child of abuut four years old suddenly make his 
appearance on the edge of tlie ravine carrying 
in his arins a bundle of sticks much larger than 
himself, and tlien as suddenly disappear again. 

Hastening towards the spot where they Lad 
seen the child, De Montfort and Ivan looked 
narrowly around for some track or pathway, 
and it was not until afier a lung search that 
they at length discovered a narrow cleft at the 
edge of the ravine between t.vo rocks, from 
whence a naturid fl ght of uneven steps seemed 
to wind down amongst the underwood for a con- 
siderable way. 

Descending this precipitous path for some 
hundred feet, they at length heard the sound of 



THE BED- CHAMBER. 137 

human voices mingling with the noise of the 
rushing stream beneath, and soon arrived at a 
species of platform or open space midway down 
the side of the precipice partly overhung with 
recks, partly shaded by large beech trees w^hich 
had pushed forth their roots in every direction 
where a fissure in the rock offered them the 
slightest nourishment. 

This space, which was about one hundred 
feet in diameter, presented to their view a 
small encampment of gipseys, who looked with 
as much amazement upon our travellers, as if 
they had been beings of another world. 

Ivan, who could speak the dialect of the 
country intelligibly, explained to them how 
they were benighted on the mountain, nnd 
where they had left their horses and attendants, 
upon which an old man, who seemed to be the 
head of the party, immediately offered them 
what poor accommodation they could afford, 
proposing to give up one of the tents for their 
use, and to send some of his pe >ple to assist in 



138 THE LADY OF 

fioding some more sheltered spot for the horses 
and attendants to remain in, than where they 
were at present. Our travellers received this 
proffered hospitality with many thanks, and the 
old man then informed them that they were a 
small party belonging to a large body of 
gipseys encamped at some leagues' distance, 
who had located themselves for the present in 
this solitary spot, in order to search for gold 
dust in the mountain torrents. 

The women and children had run to hide 
themselves on the first appearance of the 
strangers leaving only the old man, and two 
or three swarthy looking youths io receive them. 
Their host now dispatched one of the youths to 
the moor to make arrangements for the men 
and horses, and pressed De Montfort and Ivan 
to partake with him of some supper which was 
nearly ready. To this they willingly consented, 
and the old man led the way into a recess of 
the rock beyond the tents, where the light of a 
blazing fire was increased by torches of pine 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 139 

wood, placed upon a rude table formed of 
planks supported by fragments of stone. Two 
or three savoury dishes made of the wild boar's 
flesh were presently served up by a dark-eyed 
gipsey girl, who eyed the strangers with much 
curiosity, particularly Ivan upon w^hom she 
threw many a bewitching glance, but he had his 
head too much filled with thoughts of his Anas- 
tasia, as he had got leave from Count Herman 
to pay a flying visit to his parents before he 
should return into Transylvania, to see beauty 
in any black eyes but hers. When the repast 
was laid upon the table they were joined by a 
remarkably, striking looking female of about 
six or eight and twenty years of age, leading 
by the hand the little boy who had first at- 
tracted the travellers to the edge of the preci- 
pice. Her complexion, dark almost as an 
Ethiopian's, was agreeably relieved by a ciira- 
son silk hood thrown over her jttty hair, while 
a dark cloth jacket, open at the neck and bosom, 
and embroidered at the seams, with a petticoat 



140 THE LADY OF 

striped in various colours, set off her figure to 
the best advantage. Her air was almost 
majestic, and De Montfort observed that the 
old man gazed on her with equal pride and 
pleasure. This latter soon informed his guests, 
that she was his daughter, and that her late 
husband, now dead about two years, had been 
King of their tribe. He likewise expressed a 
hope, that his little grandson might one day 
arrive at the same high honour. 

When the repast was over, De Montfort and 
Ivan were glad to retire and repose themselves 
upon the benches prepared for them in one of 
the tents, and after sleeping profoundly for 
some hours, rose at the break of day, and find- 
ing their kind host already up, hastened to take 
their leave offering him their thanks, and pre- 
senting him with some pieces of gold as a re- 
compense for his hospitality. This gratuity, 
however, the old man proudly declined accept- 
ing, upon wliich, De Montfort seeing the little 
boy peeping out of one of the tents called him 



THE BED-CHAMBEK. 141 

towards him, and taking off a gold chain which 
fastened the hilt of his sword, put it on the 
child, bidding him wear it when he should be 
King of the gipseys. The old gipsey's eyes 
sparkled with delight, and the boy's mother 
approaching took De Montfort's hand and 
pressed it to her lips, then still retaining it she 
scanned the lines in it attentively, and after 
perusing them for some moments, murmured in 
a low voice in good German : 

'' Forsaken by the loved one — loved by the 
forsaken !" 

De Montfort started — then a look of incre- 
dulity passed over his brow while Zanina, for 
such was her name, casting a reproachful look 
at him, as if to reprove his want of faith, 
turned to Ivan, who very reluctantly allowed 
her to take his hand. After tracing the lines 
for an instant, she said to him encouragingly : 

*' Sorrow comes when on the brink of happi* 
ness, but the spirit must not sink." 

Then making them an oriental obeisance she 



142 THEL ADY OP 

retired within the tent leading her child by the 
hand, who proud of the gift bestowed on him, 
continued to examine it with every mark of 
admiration. 

The morning was bright and unclouded, the 
attendants, who conducted thither by the 
young gipsey, had passed the night in a cave 
not far off, were all in readiness to start, and 
the party proceeded for five or six days with- 
out any further interruption. Being come to 
the confines of Koumelia Ivan bade De Mont- 
fort adieu, with many regrets at parting, and 
hopes of meeting at some future period, while 
the latter pursued his way towards Constanti- 
nople, whose oriental battlements, domes and 
minarets appearing through long lines of cypress 
trees, at last burst upon his sight, lighted up 
by the gorgeous splendour of a setting sun. 



THE BED-CHAMBER. H3 



CHAPTER VIII. 



Such is the weakness of all mortal hope ; 
So fickle is the state of earthly thicgs, 

That ere they come into their aimed scope. 
They fall so short of their frail reckonings, 
And bring us bale and bitter sorrowings, 

Instead of comfort which we should embrace. 
This is the state of Csesars and of kings. 
Let therefore none that is in meaner place. 
Too greatly grieve at any his unlucky case. 

Spenser, 



Arrived at Constantinople, De Montfort was 
received with open arms by his uncle the am- 
bassador who, nevertheless, looked very grave 
when he beard of his nephew's reasons for so 



144 THE LADY OP 

speedily accepting his invitation and leaving all 
the gaieties of Paris, as until he heard it now 
from his own lips, he had had no intimation of 
De Montfort's marringe. However as it was 
of no avail, under the present circumstances, 
to read him a lecture on the madness of thus 
giving way to the impulse of the moment and 
neglecting so richly dowried and so fair a bride 
as the King had bestowed upon him, the am- 
bassador who was a man of great penetration 
and sound judgment, began immediately to 
consider how he could turn those unfortunate 
incidents to the advantage of his nephew, and 
being aware that the faults in his character 
were engendered by the indulgence of every 
wish to which he had been habituated from 
infancy and by the idle life he had led in a dis- 
sipated court, and knowing that he had 
naturally good inclinations and abilities of no 
common stamp, he determined if possible, to 
lure him to the study of politics and to such 
researches as might make him exert the powers 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 145 

©f his mind, and thus by providing him with 
ample employment, give him no time for the in- 
dulgence of wild fancies and futile regrets. 
He therefore made De Montfort his own 
private secretary determined that he should not 
find it a sinecure place. 

Behold De Montfort now all at once im- 
mersed in the ocean of politics. The ambassador 
in the blandest and most affectionate manner in 
the world, had him perpetually at his elbow 
consulting him upon every point of difficulty 
and making him give due consideration to the 
most intricate affairs. Thus the Baron found 
himself, as if by enchantment, placed in a differ- 
ent situation to any he had ever yet been in, 
and what seemed more strange to himself wa8, 
that he felt somehow or other as if it was the 
sphere for which nature had originally intended 
him and that in short he had been all his life, 
while at court, living in a false position. 

It was not that the image of Clementine 
was erased from his heart, or that he felt lesa 

TOL. I. H 



146 THE LADY OF 

repugnance to his late marriage whenever the 
thought of it crossed his mind ; nevertheless, 
those memories were not now evermore present 
before him, but overpowered by new scenes, 
new pursuits, and the perpetual claims which 
his uncle made upon Lis time and thoughts, 
had gradually and imperceptibly receded from 
the conspicuous place, which they had at first 
possessed in Lis imagination. Still De Mont« 
fort was much chagrined, as time passed on 
and no letter arrived from Madame de Var- 
ville, in answer to the passionate epistles, he 
had sent her by every opportunity. Soon, 
however, tLis neglect seemed to be in some 
measure explained, by his hearing of the death 
of the old Marquis, her husband, which took 
place above a month after his own departure 
from Paris, and he laid her silence to the 
account of the agony she must feel, when she 
reflected, that but for his hated marriage with 
Isabelle, she was now free to bestow on him 
her hand. 



THfi BED-CHAMBER. 147 

^* Yes, when this first anguish is a little 
mitigated, Clementine will write to me," 
tliought he ; bnt month succeeded to month, 
still no letter came, and at length De Mont- 
fort began to be seriously uneasy, about the 
health of Madame de Varville. His rage and 
horror may, therefore, be more easily ima- 
gined than described, when one diy, in looking 
over some public journals, just arrived from 
Paris, he read an account of the marriage of 
Clementine, Marchioness de Varville, with 
Philippe, Marquis de Varville, the heir and 
cousin of her late husband. To fully under- 
stand the feelings of the young Baron, it is 
necessary to state, that the present Marquia 
had always been considered as a most despic- 
able character. Deformed in his person as in 
his mind, and a slave to every vice, none had 
ever disliked or appeared to contemn him, 
more than Clementine. 

A marriage with so contemptible an indi- 
vidual, which could have been only formed 
H 2 



148 THE LADY OP 

from the most Interested motives, unmasked 
his, until now, dearly beloved mistress, and 
rudely tore away the bandage she had placed 
over the eyes of the Baron. 

Perhaps there is no deception so galling to 
the proud heart of man, as the one De Mont- 
fbrt found he had been so long under— nor 
any sting more acute, than the thought of 
having squandered a world of affection upon 
an unworthy object. 

The witty, the beautiful, the fascinating 
Clementine, to mate herself, for gold and rank, 
with a being he had heard her speak of a 
thousand times, in terms of opprobrium and 
ridicule ! — but so it was, and De Montfort felt 
as if truth and love had vanished for ever from 
the world, leaving nothing but base counter- 
feits in their stead. 

But those ruminations, though frequent 
and bitter at first, vanished by degrees, and 
De Montfort gave himself entirely to his new 
pursuits. 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 14& 

The country too, in which he was, rife with 
so many magical associations of eastern mag- 
nificence and antiquity, together with visions 
of imprisoned beauties and tyrant sultans, genii, 
and enchanted lakes and palaces, recalling the 
tales so greedily devoured in his boyhood, 
exercised a distracting power over his thoughts, 
and when the graver pursuits of politics, and 
studying languages were laid aside, and he 
had made the tour of all the palaces, bazaars, 
and mosques, and the beautiful cemetery of 
Pera, they were always at hand, to lure him 
into ever varying excursions, sometimes through 
the woods and valleys of Belgrade, at other 
times to float in a light caique, on the blue 
waters of the Bosphorus, or to visit the islands 
of the Propontis. 

In this manner, time passed rapidly and 
agreeably on, an^ De Montfort could scarcely 
credit the possibility, of his having been 
nearly two years at Constantinople, when a 
letter arrived from his father, expressing much 



150 THE LADY OF 

regret at his long absence and telling him, 
that as he now felt himself growing old and 
infirm, it would be a great comfort to him to 
see his dear son, and entreating that he would 
not much longer delay his return to Paris. 

De Montfort was too dutiful, not to acqui- 
esce immediately in his father's wishes, never- 
theless, he did so with some freluctance, par- 
ticularly when he heard from a young official, 
just arrived, that he never saw the Count De 
Beaumont looking in better health and spirits, 
than he did, when on the evening preceding 
his departure from Paris, he met him in the 
Queen's drawing-room. 

De Montfort was happy to hear of his father's 
good health, and wished that he could have 
spared him to remain with his uncle the Am- 
bassador a little longer. Nevertheless it was 
very natural that an old man should desire to 
have his only child near him> so with a sigh De 
Montfort determined to leave Constantinople 
in the course of the following month, and pro- 



THE BED-CHAMBEB. 151 

ceedlng by the same route through Transyl- 
vania, as that by which he had travelled before, 
manage to spend a few weeks at the castle of 
his friend Count Herman. 

And now as the Baron meditated upon his 
return to Paris, the unwished-for image of the 
pale and weeping Isabelle came with with no 
softened feeling to his mind, and this marriage 
into which he had been urged by duty and 
obedience to his father, and to which of late 
he had scarcely given a thought, seemed to en- 
trammel him with a more galling and irremedi- 
able chain than ever. 

^' It is not very probable we shall meet in 
Paris, however," thought he. " Brought up in 
a remote convent with mediocre talents and 
education, the atmosphere of the court will 
never suit Isabelle ; it is most likely she will 
continue in the country, and at all events 
wherever she resides, we shall still be as in- 
different as we are now, to each other, for it 
was very evident that her repugnance to our 



152 THE LADT OF 

unhappy union was quite equal to my own ; — 
but after all, what signifies this marriage novv» 
— I can never love again." 

With such reflections as these De Montfort 
tried to qualify the bitter potion he had been 
compelled to drink, and then he began imme- 
diately to lay out plans for his future life, de» 
termining to adhere to the pursuits which his 
uncle had chalked out for him. 

The Ambassador was much chagrined at 
being about to lose the society of his nephew, 
in whom'he had found talents and capabiiities 
that hnd astonished him, and the development 
of which he very justly took the credit of to 
himself. He therefore encouraged him in his 
aspirations after political honors and as De 
Montfort had a natural and easy eloquence, he 
made no doubt but he would make a conspicu- 
ous figure in public life. 

As the time approached for his departure, 
De Montfort felt still greater reluctance to bid 
adieu to those beautiful scenes where his spirits 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 153 

had been so renovated and the powers of his 
mind so much awakened, and he spent as many 
hours every day as he could steal from his all- 
engrossing uncle, in visiting each favourit e spot, 
and lingering wherever history or tradition had 
been busy with her records. He explored 
every ruin again and again to which ancient 
story or popular superstition had given a my- 
sterious charm, and extended his excursions far 
into the surrounding country. The waters of 
the Bosphorus often sparkled brightly as his 
light boat flew over them, while the blue hills 
of Asia Minor looked enchanting in the dis- 
tance, and on the near shore, as the caique pro- 
ceeded, every stroke of the oar unfolded some 
new object — some fair pavilion, surrounded 
with its rose gardens and tall cypress trees, or 
a crumbling fortress perched upon some high 
cliff. In this manner the hours seemed to fly 
— but nothing in particular marked their pro- 
gress. 

It now wanted but a week of the time that 
H 5 



154 THE LADT OT 

c Baron had fixed upon for leaving Constan- 
tinople, when fate, as if determined that he 
8 hould not depart from this region of romance 
without meeting with an adventure, led him, 
o ne evening after sunset, to the cemetery of 
Perac 

The shadows of twilight were just beginning 
to deepen as he entered the cemetery, light 
breezes played refreshingly amidst the tall 
cypress trees, and here and there, in this their 
favourite walk among the marble tombs and 
scented shrubs, groups of Turks and Armenians 
might be seen, arrayed in their splendid oriental 
costume — some chattering— some smoking — all 
enjoying the delicious coolness of the evening 
air, De Montfort soon sought the more retired 
part of the cemetery, and ascending a rising 
ground gazed upon the view of Constantinople 
spread out before him, with its kiosks and 
minarets, gardens, fountains, and groves of 
cypress trees in the fore-ground, while the Sea 
of Marmora, Scutari, and the lofty j\lount 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 155 

Olympus might be discerned in the distance. 
As he descended from this elevation, and turned 
into a retired alley, he perceived a female in 
the Armenian garb approaching through a cross 
walk evidently with the intention of accosting 
him. 

When near enough, after first glancing 
hastily around in order to see that they were 
unobserved, she threw herself at his feet, and 
addressing him in tolerable Italian, said in the 
most piteous accents : 

" It is in your power, most noble Frank, to 
save the life of an unfortunate Greek maiden, 
who, should you refuse, and there be none other 
to help her — as I fear me there is not — must 
• inevitably perish by a lingering and cruel death, 
as the Sultana, Zobeide, has vowed her 
destruction." 

De Montfort, much surprised at this strange 

rencontre, bade the petitioner arise, and he 

v/ould listen to what she had to say to him. He 

. perceived that the person addressing him was 



165 THE LADY OF 

an elderly woman, wrinkled and shrivelledj but 
with a prepossessing and benevolent expression 
of countenance, while the tears that rolled 
down her sallow cheeks left no doubt upon his 
mind of the truth of her statement. Sitting 
down upon one of the tombs, which was shaded 
by a thick laurel hedge, he motioned to her to 
place herself beside him. To this, however, 
his interlocutor would not consent, humbly 
seating herself on the grass at his feet. 

" And now, good mother," said the young 
Baron, whose curiosity was fully aroused, " tell 
me who this maiden is — in what manner she 
came to be placed in so perilous a situation — 
how it happens that you take so great an in- 
terest in her welfare, and what it is you wish 
me to do ?" 

" That is easily done,'' replied the old woman, 
who after wiping her eyes, and again looking 
carefully around, began her narration in tlie 
following terms : 

"I am an Armenian by birth, and some 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 157 

seventeen years ago was in the service of Ypsi- 
lanti, a Greek residing at Constantinople — I 
had the care of his only child from her birth — a 
lovely, engaging little girl of whom I became 
passionately fond — When she was about six 
years old her father, who was a merchant, suf- 
fered a reverse of fortune by being security for 
a friend to a large amount, and to avoid being 
taken by the creditors was obliged to fly from 
Constantinople — I unfortunately could not ac- 
company my nursling, having been suddenly 
taken with a violent access of fever— On my 
recovery I found they were gone, no one knew 
whither, and I lost sight of them entirely, and 
after various vicissitudes came at last to be en- 
rolled amongst the attendant slaves of the 
Harem. A few days since a Greek maiden, 
who had been torn from her family and friends 
by some Turkish marauders, and sold to one of 
our Emirs, was, on account of her extreme 
beauty, sent by him as a present to the Sultan. 
The Sultan, who is just now absent at one of 



158 THE LADY OF 

his country houses, has not yet beheld her, 
and Zobiede, his favourite mistress, dreading 
the influence which this maiden, who is much 
younger and handsomer than herself, may ob- 
tain over the susceptible heart of the Sultan, 
has vowed to destroy her before he arrives. 

It so happened that I, being well skilled in 
herbs and simples, was so fortunate as to be of 
use to Zobeide during a dangerous illness, when 
the prescriptions of her physician had failed to 
bring her any relief, and was therefore placed 
by her among her own particular attendants, 
and have ever since enjoyed a large share of 
her confidence. For this reason, on seeing this 
fair young creature, a few days since, filled 
with rage and jealousy, Zobeide persuaded the 
Kislar Aga that as I was clever as a leech, 
and very trustworthy, 1 was the fittest person 
to be placed about this young girl, who had 
given herself up to the deepest despair, and 
scarcely taken any nourishment since her cap- 
tivity. 



THE BED-CHAMBER, 159 

** The eunuch, whofenredhis charge would 
die of grief before the returii of the Sultan, 
willingly consented. 

** After making me a most unwilling confi- 
dant of her designs upon the unhappy maiden, 
Zobeide dismsssed me to look after her, bidding 
me consider well what means had best be em- 
ployed to get rid of her without exciting sus- 
picion, suggesting herself poison, administered 
in small doses. 

" Struck with horror at the service required 
of me by Zobeide, I repaired to the apartment 
where the unfortunate victim was shut up. I 
found her bitting upon the floor, her face 
covered by her hands, and apparently in such 
despair that death itself would have been wel- 
come to her. 

" On hearing the door open she raised her 
head and looked wildly at me — as I approached 
she started up — looked again, and exclaimed — 

^' * No, it is impossible — it cannot be— but 
— yesj it is, my dear, good, kind Glaphyra V 



160 THE LADY OP 

" and throwing herself into my arms, she 
hid her face in my bosom, and wept bitterly. 

" I was struck with amazement — 1 could 
hardly believe my senses — yet the tones of her 
voice seemed to awaken memories within me. 

" ' Glaphyra,' said she, ' have you entirely 
forgotten your little Anastasia?' 

'* What do you say. Is her name Anasta- 
tir ?'' exclaimed the young Baron, interrupting 
her. " Where do her parents reside ?" 

*' In Roumelia, my lord," replied the old 
woman. 

" Proceed with your story — I am much in- 
terested in it," returned De Montfort, eagerly. 

The old woman then continued — 

" ' My poor child,' exclaimed I, kissing her, 
* is it indeed you. Ah ! what a fate is reserved 
for you. The favourite mistress of the Sultan, 
the proud Zobeide, has determined you shall 
die.' 

" ' Dear nurse,' said she, weeping, * death 
is better than to be for ever separated from my 



THE BED-CHAMBER. l6l 

betrothed lover, Ivan Michaelis. I will — ah ! 
how cheerfully — embrace death sooner than 
remain immured in this dreadful palace.' " 

At the name of Ivan Michaelis, De Mont- 
fort started up with much agitation, but he 
resumed his seat immediately, and the old 
woman continued — 

" I said all I could to comfort the dear child 
— I told her I would die myself, rather than 
any evil should happen to her, and that it w^as 
to me Zobeide had given her in charge. I then 
persuaded her to take a little refreshment, for 
my poor Anastasia had eaten nothing for two 
days, and making her then lie down to rest, 
bade her trust in God, and soon saw her fall 
into a sweet sleep. 

" I then sought Zobeide, and dissembling 
my grief, informed her that I had already in- 
fused a small dose of poison into the nourishment 
I had persuaded the young maiden to swallow, 
and that she was now asleep from the effects 
of the potion, promising to repeat it on the 



162 THE LADY OF 

morning, and assuring her that, in three days, 
her victim should be no more. 

** Zobeide lauded my fidelity, and I returned 
to weep, and sit by the couch of Anastasia. 

All that night I spent, in considering how I 
could save the life of my beloved foster child. 
Every plan seemed so difficult to execute, 
that J was almost diiven to despair. lam 
only a poor slave, without any friends, and 
should I even contrive to get her out of the 
Palace, where am I to secrete her? How 
convey her out of Constantinople? In this 
dilemma, I have determined to apply to you, 
my Lord, as I happened to be in the bazaar 
yesterday, making some purchases for Zobeide, 
when you w ere choosing those rich stuffs from 
the merchant, and mentioned to hira, that he 
must make despatch with your commissions, as 
you were on the point of leaving Constanti- 
nople. 

" It appeared to me, as if God had brought 
you to my assistance. I returned to the 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 163 

bazaar to-day, and procured your address from 
the merchant. 

" This afternoon 1 crossed over to Pera, and 
have watched beside your gateway. I saw 
you go forth, but you were not alone, and I 
dared not speak to you in the crowd ; and I 
have anxiously followed your steps, ever since 
you came into the cemetery." 

Here the old woman paused, and De Mont- 
fort, filled with pity for the fair Anastasia, 
and doubly interested for her, on account of 
Ivan Michselis, determined to run all risks 
and defy all danger, in endeavouring to liberate 
her, and restore her to her friends. 

Glaphyra heard his resolution with tears of 
joy, already her beloved one seemed to her to 
be saved. , 

After a short consultation, it was arranged , 
that, on the following night, the old woman 
should leave unlocked, one of the small wickets 
opening towards the sea, through which, for 
ages, the unfortunate objects of the jealousy 



164 THE LADY OF 

of the Sultans, were wont to be hurried to 
their watery graves, and thus admit De Mont- 
ford into the gardens of the harem. This she 
could contrive by means of a private key, 
which she knew Zobeide had in her possession, 
and which she thought she could, without 
much difficulty, secrete. 

Glaphyra then described, accurately, to the 
young Baron, the path he was to follow, in 
order to reach the turret in the east angle of 
the harem, where the unfortunate Anastasia 
was confined, and which, fortunately for their 
scheme, was concealed from the view of the 
other apartments, by a projecting buttress. 

Arrived beneath the window, which he would 
not fail to recognise, by a small lamp being 
placed in it, while a marble fountain, repre- 
senting a winged dragon, threw up a column 
of water hard by, he was to clap his hands 
three times, when Glaphyra, by throwing 
down a silken ladder, which they must make 
fast beneath, would give him an opportunity of 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 165 

reaching the casement, and assisting the maiden 
to descend. 

This plan, though attended with imminent 
peril, perhaps death, should he be discovered 
in the gardens of the Seraglio, seemed to De 
Montfort to be feasible. He then inquired of 
the old woman, what method she would take 
to secure her own safety, and save herself 
from the vengeance of Zobeide, and from the 
punishment, which the Kislar Aga would 
no doubt inflict upon her, for so daring an 
offence, as that of assisting a female to escape 
from the harem. 

To this, Glaphyra well versed in all kinds of 
stratagem, and having already pondered over 
it, replied that she would substitute a figure/ 
stuffed with goat's hair, the face covered with 
a livid mask, which she had already procured, 
in the place of Anastasia, and enveloping it in 
her garments, would inform the Kislar Aga, 
who was prepared, hy the excessive grief of 
the maiden, for such a consummation, that she 



166 THE LADY OF 

had died raging mad of an infectious fever. 
The Kislar Aga, having no grounds for 
suspicion, and always dreading, above all things, 
a contagious disorder in the harem, would have 
the supposed body immediately nailed up in a 
coffin, and interred. 

" Zobeide, she could easily make believe, 
that the poison administered by her orders had 
taken effect, and in this manner be enabled to 
deceive both her mistress and the black eunuch. 

How her beloved Anastasia was to be con- 
veyed in safety from Constantinople Glaphyra 
said, she must leave entirely to the care of her 
preserver, but she depended upon the honour 
of the noble Frank, that he would restore her 
to her parents. 

De Montfort reiterated his promises of as- 
sistance and protection for the young girl, 
assuring Glaphyra that should he find the 
wicket open leading into the seraglio gardens, 
he would not fail to be beneath her window on 
the following midnight. 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 167 

Tmlight was by this time fast fading away, 
and the stars came ou-t brightly in the dark 
blue heavens. The old woman saw she had 
better hasten home lest Zobeide might make 
inquiries for her, therefore bidding De Mont- 
fort adieu, with many thanks and blessings, 
she hurried to the quay to seek the caique in 
which she had crossed over from the serao:lio 
point, while De Montfort, turning his steps 
towards the French quarter in Pera, meditated 
upon the dangerous and romantic enterprise in 
which he found himself so suddenly engaged. 



168 THE LADY OF 



CHAPTER IX. 



It is old and plain. 
The spinsters and the knitters in the sun 
And the free maids that weave their thread with 

bones 
Do use to chant it ; it is silly sooth, 
And dallies with the innocence of love 
Like the old age. 

Shahspeare, 



Although Delamare had cruelly allowed hia 
eyes to speak volumes on the morning of his 
departure, and had even talked of their meet- 
ing again ere long, as he was going to spend 
some weeks at his guardian's house, Isabelle 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 169 

perceived that Eulalie wa« not in her usual 
spirits that day — she frequently started as if 
from a reverie, when spoken to, and then an- 
swered as if she had not heard a word that 
was said. Isabelle therefore thought a walk 
would enliven her^ and as the day was very 
beautiful, proposed they should take a short 
cut through the fields and lanes to the Chateau 
de Beaumont, which was not more than two 
leagues distant. 

To this proposal Eulalie joyfully consented ; 
and after passing through several narrow, shady 
lanes, scrambling over stiles and crossing a lit- 
tle streamlet on stepping stones, they perceived 
at the extremity of an orchard, before the door 
of a farm house, the old blind man with his 
two grandchildren, whom they had seen at the 
fair the preceding evening, seated upon a stone 
bench, aod playing the cornemitse, while a merry 
troop of peasants danced around him. 

Isabelle approached, and after speaking 

VOL. I. I 



170 SHE LADY OF 

kindly to the blind man, bade him come and 
rest at the Chateau that night. 

It was evening when the old man entered 
the court yard of the Chateau de Beaumont, 
and the steward, who had been previously 
directed by his mistress, after giving him some 
refreshment in the hall, led the little party to 
the terrace into which the windows of the 
salon opened, where Isabelle and Eulalie 
generally spent their evenings. 

They were now there, with some friends who 
had walked over unexpectedly to pass an hour 
or two with them. Isabelle motioned to the 
steward to lead the old man to a rustic seat just 
opposite the windows, over which a large 
chestnut tree formed an umbrageous covering 
from the heats of the summer day, and the dews 
of evening. Seated on the bench, the old man 
played some national airs on the cornemuse while 
the children sat at his feet, and the little dog 
Mador stretched himself out to sleep on the 
green sod. 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 171 

At length, when the old man paused, the 
young baroness, wishing to vary the entertain- 
ment, asked him to recite one of those old 
Breton ballads — so simple yet so touching. The 
blind man iiiimediately complied with her re- 
quest, and in a plaintive but rather monoton- 
ous tone repeated the following stanzas: 



* THE HEIRESS OF KEROULAS. 



" The lovely heiress of Keroulas 

Must gay and gladsome be. 
To dance in her robe of blue satin 

With lords of high degree." 

Thus said the ancient servitors 

Who waited in the hall, 
When the Marquis de Mesle and his lady mother 

Appeared to grace the ball. 



* Translated from an ancient Breton Ballad given in " Les 
Derniers Bretons " by E. Souvestre. 

I 2 



172 THE LADY OF 

" would I were a blue pigeon 1" 

Said the heiress with a sigh, 
" Like those that perch upon the towers, 

Of Keroulas so high ; 

To hear what plot against my peace, 

His mother lays with mine, 
Alas ! I tremble whilst I look, 

To think what they design. 

They come not here from "•" Cornouaille, 
Without some secret spring. 

They come not where an heiress dwells 
For naught but revelling. 

The Marquis may have titles grand. 
He may have gold in store — 

But I have loved Kerthomas long, 
And will love him ever more." 

With anxious eye Kerthomas looked, 
On those who came that day, 

For dearly he loved that fair ladye, 
And sighing, thus would say : 



"he estate of the Marquis de Mesle. 



THE BEDCHAMBER. 173 

" if I were tlie little * sarcelle 

That yonder streamlet bears, 
Whose crystal waters lave the robe, 

My lovely mistress wears. 

How would I sport upon that brook 

And with what deep delight. 
Mine eyes and plumage would I plunge 

Within its waters bright ! 

For the t hecassine who mid the ice 

Of the marshes makes her nest, 
Has less of coolness there — than I 

Have love within my breast." 

" madam — my lady mother dear — 

Give not my hand away 
To Lord de Mesle — but to Pennaurun, 

Or to Lord Salaun I pray. 

" But rather give me, to Kerthomas, 

The gentlest knight is he ; 
And you frowned not on his suit, my mother. 

When he spake of love to me. 



* Teal. t Snipe. 



174 THE LADY OP 

"01 have been at Chateaugal,* 
Dim looked its courts so wide, 

The moaning wind through smoky halls 
And shattered windows sighed. 

"And I have been at Kerthomas — 

would that it were mine ! 
As silver are the portals bright — 
Like gold the windows shine," 

" My child, your happiness I seek — 

Those foolish fancies hide ; 
My word is pledged, and you must be 

The Lord de Mesle's bride.'' 

" With smiles of joy did I receive 

The ring Kerthomas wore ; 
And now alas ! with bitter tears, 

This ring I must restore. 

" Take back thy ring of gold, Kerthomas- 

Thy signet with its chain ; 
These gifts — since I must wed another — 

1 dare not now retain." 



* The chateau of the Marquis de Mesle. 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 175 

The hardest heart at Keronlas 

Could not but grieve that day, 
When they saw the weeping heiress kiss 
The gates ere she went away. 

" Adieu, great house of Keroulas, 

Me never more you'll view j 
Adieu, ye faithful servitors — ' 

A long — a last adieu !" 

But when she saw the parish poor 

How fist their tears did fall — 
" O weep not thus, ray pensioners, 

But come to Chateaugal. 

" And I will give you alms each day, 

And three times in the week, 
Eighteen quarters of wheat with oats, 

And barley you may seek." 

Then bespake him the Lord de Mesle, 

And to his bride did say — 
" Madam, my wealth will not suffice 

To give such alms away. 

" Marquis de Mesle," she replied, 
" Your goods I will not take, 



176 THE LADY OF 

But of my own 1 11 give to win 
Their prayers for my soul's sake." 

And when she came to Chateaugal- 

'•' tell me is there one 
With a message to Keroulas, 

For me will ride or run ?" 



A youthful page replied to this — 
*' Madam if you will write 

I'll find a messenger with speed 
To take your scroll to-night." 

She wrote a letter hastily : 
And to the page did say — 

" Give it unto my lady mother^ 
Without a stop or stay.-' 

" saddle me my grey palfrey,"' 

Her lady mother cried, 
" For I must haste to Chateaugal 

To see what doth betide." 

" O how are they at Chateaugal ? 

Why do ye sad appear ? 
And why are all the portals hung 

With trappings dark and drear T 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 3 77 

" The youthful heiress died last night 

The bride so lately wed !'' 
" luckless day ! — woe is me !" 

The sorrowing lady said. 

" woe is me !...for if my child 

Has yielded up her breath, 
Alas ! 'tis I... who am her mother 

'Tis I have caused her death." 

" give me not to Lord de Mesle," 

She often said with sighs, 
" But give me rather to Kerthomas, 

Who is dearer to mine eyes — " 

The woful lady of Keroulas 

To a nunnery is gone, 
And Kerthomas in a cloister 

Gives his vows to God alone. 



When the old man had finished his recitation 
all the company applauded his performance, 
and Mador, as if conscious that his beloved 
master had met v^ith approval, sprang upon his 
breast and licked his face. The Baroness gave 
I 5 



178 THE LADY OF 

him a cup of wine with her own fair hand, and 
then, ordering the steward to see that the little 
party were well lodged and cared for, dismissed 
them, first telling the old minstrel that he and 
his grand children should spend a few days at 
the Chateau. This invitation the old man re- 
ceived with much gratitude, saying, however, 
that he could not remain beyond the third day 
as he should then take the road to Caen, where 
there was to be a great fair held. This little 
rencontre served much to enliven the spirits of 
Eulalie, who made the old man play the corne- 
miise and recite ballads for her, or else listened 
to Angelique's plaintive ditties, the greater 
part of the two following days, whilst in the 
evenings, the Abbe de Say e, who resided in 
the neighbourhood, and was a frequent visitor 
at the Chateau, a venerable man about seventy 
years of age, gave them learned dissertations 
upon the ancient ballad poetry of Brittany and 
Normandy, and ^ne songs of the Trouveres, 
accompanied by a minute account of the origin 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 179 

and progress of La Cour d'Amour, once so 
celebrated in Provence, with all of which sub- 
jects he was quite as well acquainted as he was 
with his breviary, having in early life been both 
a poet and a warrior himself. 

The old minstrel on leaving the Chateau 
bestowed many a blessing upon its gentle in- 
mates, and Eulalie felt a lively regret in part- 
ing with the pretty Angelique, who on her 
part shed many tears. Jean and Mador, how- 
ever, seemed to resume their erratic life with 
much alacrity, and a long time passed away 
before the inhabitants of the Chateau heard 
tidings of the old man and his grandchildren. 



180 THE LADY 01* 



CHAPTER X. 



Ladye, throw back thy raven hair, 
Lay thy white brow in the moonlight bare, 
I will look on the stars, and look on thee, 
And read the page of thy destiny. 

L. E. L. 

1 talk of dreams ; 
Which are the children of an idle brain 
Begot of nothing but vain fantasy. 

Shakspeahe. 



The obsei'vations which Madame d'Anglurcs 
could not help making upon the pointed atten- 
tions of Henri Desguey to Eulalie forced her, 



THE BEB-CHAMBEK, 181 

though not without some reluctance to think 
upon the probability of this dear child's being 
soon settled in life. She would much rather 
have kept her with herself for two or three 
years longer, but the match would be an 
advantageous one in every point of view — the 
young man being amiable, his family wealthy 
and respectable ; and that the Provost had no 
intention of crossing his son's wishes, his 
manner towards the whole family sufficiently 
testified, although she knew he must be aware 
that Eulalie's dowry would be but very small. 

All these considerations made her imagine 
that she could not better secure the future 
happiness of Eulalie than by forwarding a 
union so well assorted in every respect. Never- 
theless she was in no hurry to bring it to a con- 
clusion, and thought that it might be as well 
for the young people to see a little more of each 
other before matters proceeded further. 

That Eulalie could have the slightest objec- 
tion to this marriage never once entered into 



182 THE LADY OP 

her calculations and having arranged the affair 
completely to her own satisfaction, she now 
turned her thoughts for the first time, to what 
might be Josephine's future destiny. 

Fondly attached to her daughters and always 
living with them in the greatest harmony, 
Madame d'Anglures had, until now, shut her 
eyes to the probability of their being soon 
taken from beneath her maternal wing ; and she 
would still have gladly remained in the same 
pleasing forgetfulness as to what might be 
their future prospects, had not the frequent 
visits of Henri Desguey called her serious 
attention to the subject. 

" It is not likely that Josephine will ever 
marry well," soliloquised Madame d'Anglures 
*' for she is not in the least pretty although so 
good and gentle, and her portion like that of 
Eulalie will be very small — my jointure, though 
handsome, and sufficient to keep up a respect- 
able appearance in the world, expires with me, 
and after my death the poor child will have to 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 183 

submit to many privations should she remain 
single — I cannot part with her just yet, but in 
all things she seems so perfectly suited for a 
conventual life that a kind providence must 
have inspired me with the idea — yes — Josephine 
must be a nun — I will gradually try to assist 
in bringing about her vocation, and will speak 
to our goo(J Abbe upon the subject — I have no 
doubt but he will entirely coincide in my 
opinion. It will be hard for me to part with 
so sweet a companion as Josephine; but alas! 
the time must arrive wlien I shall be called upon 
to bid a final adieu to this world and to both my 
dear children and it is best for me to see them 
settled before I die." 

Thus reasoned the good but not very clear 
sighted Madame d'Anglures, and she accord- 
ingly took the very first opportunity, of 
speaking to her confessor and friend, the 
Abbe de Saye, upon the subject. 

The old man heard her very attentively ; he 



184 THE LADY OF 

chimed in with all her views for Eulalie, but 
her plan for Josephine, he did not seem to 
embrace so eagerly as she expected. He had 
not always been a priest himself, and though 
a very good man, had not quite outlived the 
memory of his young days. 

*' Mademoiselle Josephine is too young," 
said he, taking a pinch of snuff. "It is 
quite time enough to think about a convent 
for her by and by — let the poor child look 
after her bees and flowers, and ramble in the 
woods a little longer." 

The Baroness was not well pleased, that the 
old Abbe did not enter into her scheme for 
Josephine, with greater warmth. The more 
thought she gave to it herself, the more admi- 
rably suited for this dear daughter did she con- 
sider it to be. 

" And after all, 1 might then see her a 
Lady Abbess before I die, and no one can be 
better suited for such dignity, than my dear, 
good Josephine." 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 185 

Thus did this tender mother muse, and from 
want of a little penetration, chalk out paths 
iu life for two beloved daughters, diametrically 
opposite to their inclinations ; and thus it fre- 
quently is in this world, that we are blind to 
the various feelings, hopes, and disappoint- 
ments, of those who are dearest to us, and 
with whom we the most constantly asso- 
ciate. 

The good Abbe de Saye, who had been for 
years a constant visitant at the Chateau, had a 
much keener insight into the feelings and cha- 
racter of his favourite Josephine, than had 
her mother ; and when the Baroness urged him 
to mark out for Josephine, a course of study 
and devotional attendance, most fit to prepare 
her fur her future vocation, the worthy man, 
without assigning his motives, decidedly said' 
that he hid every reason to be satisfied with 
Mademoiselle Josephine at present, and begged 
that her mother would, on no account, mention 



186 THE LADV OF 

anything about a vocation to her, for a year at 
least. 

The Baroness, satisfied with his approbation 
of Josephine, promised compliance with his 
wishes ; nevertheless, she could not help fur- 
tively throwing in her child's way, any books 
that she thought might conduce to seriousness 
of mind, and without directly prohibiting 
their perusal, putting aside all the effusions of 
the old Trouveres and romance writers, that 
she could lay her hands upon. Nevertheless, 
to her great mortification, the good Abbe him- 
self, was sometimes the means of bringing one 
or other of those hidden volumes to light. 
Accustomed to spend three or four evenings in 
the week at the Chateau, and delighting in 
music, particularly in the old national ballads, 
he frequently demanded a song of some old 
Trouvere from Josephine, instead of the 
sacred chants the Baroness placed before her, 
and which he said with truth, her voice could 
not do justice to. 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 187 

This was the more provoking to the Ba- 
roness, as Josephine looked up to him, and 
reverenced him as a father, and one word 
from the Abbe de Saye, in token of disappro- 
bation, would have made her burn her ballads 
immediately. However, the good Baroness 
had nothing to do, but to submit good hu- 
mouredly to her old friend and confessor. 

" If Josephine should, of her own accord, 
wish to enter a convent hereafter, I shall not 
oppose the dear child's wish ; on the contrary, 
I will, by instruction and precept, do all in 
my power, to prepare her for so solemn a 
change— but look at Josephine now, and say, 
do you think it probable, that she is yet tired 
of the world?" 

So said the old Abbe one evening to Madame 
d'Anglures, when having put his hat and stick 
in the corner as usual, he called her attention 
from her knitting to the group of young people 
who were dancing on the green plot outside 
the window of the salon. At that moment 



188 THE LADY OF 

Josephine seemed to have changed characters 
with her sister, so bright was her colour, and so 
sparkling her eye. 

She was dancing with Henri Desguey, while 
Eulalie, who had hoped Delamare would have 
joined their little party, and had refused to 
dance with Henri, under pretext of having a 
headache, sat by, looking very grave. 

Isabelle, seated at the harp close to the other 
window of the salon, which was open, played 
with a light and brilliant finger the airs to 
which the young people were so merrily danc- 
ing. 

Henri Desguey in his pursuit of the beau- 
tiful little Eulalie, had likewise tried to ingra- 
tiate himself into the good graces and friend- 
ship of Josephine, whom he considered as a 
most amiable and sensible girl, and likely to 
influence her volatile little sister. If Eulalie 
neglected to wear the flowers with which he 
presented her, or disdainfully threw them aside, 
as she often did,he always turned to Josephine 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 189 

for consolatipn, and to enjoy at least the plea- 
sure of talking of his beloved. Did Eulalie 
fly off from him in their walks, or manoeuvre 
to be engaged when he asked her to dance, the 
gentler Josephine was always near, to listen 
sympathisingly to his complaints, which, how- 
ever, did not last long, as he was of a gay, 
lively temperament, or to join him with an un- 
tiring step in the mazes of the dance. Thus, 
though passionately attached to one sister, he 
more frequently conversed and danced wi^h 
the other ; and in this manner Josephine, with- 
out indulging an idea of attracting him, or 
supposing she could be attracted by him, was 
thrown into, and took, without being aware of 
it, a dangerous pleasure in his society, and while 
she considered herself his friend and confidant, 
was on the brink of feeling for him a much 
warmer sentiment. 

His visits were now of daily occurrence at 
the chateau d'Anglures, and although, latterly, 
Isabelle spent the greater part of her time 



190 THE LADY OF 

there with Eulalie, if it so happened ihat the 
latter was at the Chateau de Beaumont, Des- 
guey always persuaded Josephine to lay aside her 
embroidery frame or her book, and accompany 
him thither, the short way across the fields; 
and sometimes he brought his sisters to join in 
their walk. 

They were very fond of Josephine, and much 
preferred her to her sister. The soft, easy 
temper of the former pleased them, and she 
had no beauty to compete w^ith theirs, while 
besides being chafed at the admiration which 
Eulalie generally excited, they were displeased 
at the coldness she evinced towards their bro- 
ther, of whom they where both fond and 
proud. 

Isabelle always received them with pleasure, 
and was ready to discard her books and paint- 
ing, and join them in their rambles towards the 
sea coast, which was generally their favourite 
point of attraction. Frequently she made 
them spend the rest of the day, until the cool 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 191 

of the evening, at her chateau, and in the in- 
termediate time would send to some of her near 
neighbours, and assembling all the young peo- 
ple would play on the harp for them, while 
they danced merrily until the stars told them it 
was time to return home. 

Eulalie's gay vivacity constantly made her 
forget her dread of young Desguey's attentions, 
and a bright smile and kind word were always 
kindling his hopes anew ; while unacquainted 
with her sister's mind, in respect to Delamare, 
Josephine thought it impossible but that she 
must at last like Henri Desguey, imputing her 
present reserve towards him, to the indifference 
of an unoccupied heart, or to a playful caprice, 
never once imagining that Delamare, whom 
she considered grown both proud and sullen, 
could be preferred, by her gay little sister, to 
the entertaining and always good tempered 
Henr* Desguey. 

Thus did the days of the young Baroness de 
Montfort fly rapidly and agreeably away, al- 



192 THE LADY OF 

ways occupied in useful pursuits, or in giving 
pleasure to others, she was the idol of the little 
circle among whom she dwelt, entering into 
their amusements, sympathising in their 
troubles, and promoting their happiness in 
every way she could. Her own former life 
seemed but a dream, while her present existence 
was a delightful reality, and so much did she 
enjoy the pleasures of friendship, her indepen- 
dent state, and the companionship of the young 
and lively, that love, though playing pranks 
with so many hearts around her, found not the 
smallest aperture to creep into hers — not even 
the remembrance of the time when he had 
hovered around her at Venice, ever came to 
disturb her repose, and her marriage had become 
so dream-like an occurrence to her imagination, 
that a thought of it scarcely ever crossed her 
mind. 

Such was the state of things, when one day 
it was arranged that they should have a pique- 
nique up the river Seine. 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 193 

The boat contained Madame d'Anglures, 
Isabelle, Josephine, and Eulalie — the Provost 
with his two daughters, Leonore and Adele, 
while the Abbe de Saye, Delamare, and Henri 
Desguey, with the boatmen, constituted the 
rest of the party. It was a delicious afternoon 
when they set out, and after rowing up the 
river for a couple of hours, they looked about 
for a suitable spot on one of the banks for their 
cold collation, 

A grassy plot shaded with large trees, and 
partly surrounded by high locks, seemed pur- 
posely intended by nature, from its shade and 
retirement, and the arched canopy, which the 
interlacing boughs formed over it, for a sylvan 
banquetting hall. Here they disembarked, and 
scattering about in various groups while the re- 
past was laying out on a grassy knoll, they 
peered into every leafy nook and thicket, 
watching the agile squirrel springing from 
bough to bough and startling the timid hare 
trom his form. 

VOL. I. K 



\9\ THE LADY OF 

Presently tbey discovered, on the edge of a 
green slope at a little distance, a group of 
gipseys seated under a large chesnut tree. A 
youDg girl, dark as night, came forward to 
greet them, and addreseicg them in broken 
I'rench with a strong foreign pronunciation, 
offered to tell their fortunes. 

Fearful that the old Abbe, who was vehe- 
mently opposed to all fortune-tellers and astrolo- 
gers, horoscopes, magical secrets, and hazel- 
tree wands, so much relied upon at this period, 
by even the most learned men, might approach, 
they at first hesitated, but seeing that he did 
not make his appearance, Adele, who had been 
conversing with Delamare in a lively strain, 
presented her palm to the fortune-teller. "What 
she told her nobody knew, but the young 
girl looked well satisfied with the promised 
fortune. 

Pit-T sister followed her example, as did 
Henri, but the latter did not appear as pleased, 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 195 

as were bis sisters, with his future des- 
tiny. 

The rest of the party declined her eager im- 
portunities, and were turning away, when an 
elder and more dignified female approached. 

She had been minutely examining the young 
people from beneath the chesnut tree, and 
after curiously scanning them all, came for- 
ward, bringing in her hand some small bunches 
of flowers, one of which she presented to each 
individual; informing them that they were 
symbolical. Her French was better than 
that of her companion, the younger gypsey, 
though likewise marked with a foreign accent. 
Being offered money in return for her presents, 
she coldly repulsed it, saying that so insigni- 
ficant an offering did not require any recom- 
pense, and the party, amused with their ren- 
contre, now relriiced their steps back, and 
proceeded to examine the nosegays, not, how- 
ever, without a little anxiety mingled with 



K 2 



M. 



196 THE LADY OF 

their curiosity, as to what might be the meaning 
attached to the flowers. 

" Bosemary!" exelaimud Isabelie, looking 
with much surprise at the large bunch of ^ rose- 
mary she had got, and then she paused to 
consider. 

'' It is for remembrance," thought she^ 
and a deep blush crossed her cheek, while the 
Church of the Salute, and all the memories 
attached to it — so long buried, and to all 
appearance, extinguished in her bosom, rose 
vividly, like a panoramic picture before her 
eyes, as if conjured up by the wand of an 
enchanter, 

*' And violets mingled with it," exclaimed 
she again, as she picked up the small bunch 
of violets, which, unperceived until now, 
had dropped from the midst cf the ros^ r»ary. 
" Kemembrance and consinncy — how ttraTige ! 
— but it must be purely accidental." 
"What have you got, Josephine?" 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 19^ 

And Josphine smiling, held out the bunch 
tof gilliflowerS) which the gipsey had placed in 
her hand. 

" Ah, yes — yours is very appropriate," con- 
tinued Isabelle — " giUiflower is for gentleness 
— -but there is lavender in it too— lavender 
signifies true love — what have you to do yet, 
with true love, Josephine? — take care of your 
little heart." 

But Josephine only smiled complacently, 
for she thought that h^r heart was safe in her 
own keeping, 

Eulalie hid the large bunch of violets she 
bad received, with a secret consciousness of 
their truth, in her bosom, not perceiving the 
sprigs of rue that were interwoven with them ; 
while Delamare disdainfully threw away the 
fennel, which the gipsey had bestowed upon 
him, not liking the allusion to insincerity, which 
it conveyed. 

Afraid of being reprehended by the good 
Abbe, for daring to listen to any one, who pro* 



198 THE LADY OF 

fessed a knowledge of the occult sciences, tbey 
were silent on the subject of their meeting with 
the gipseys. 

It was moonlight, when they re-entered the 
boat. Eulalie was all sparkling vivacity, as, 
seated near the thoughtful Delamare, she sang 
duets with Josephine, to which no one listened 
with more pleasure, than did the good Abb€j 
while the young Baroness, unable to give 
much attention to the music, was glad thjvt it 
gave a suitable pretext for silence* 

The little incident of the flowers, so trifling 
in itself, opened the floodgates of memory in 
the soul of Isabelle. It was in vain she tried 
to persuade herself, that if those symbolical 
flowers had any occult meaning, they must 
refer to her subsequent to her marriage, and en- 
deavouring to banish all former recollections from 
her mind, she recurred, with a feverish anxiety, ^o 
every minute circumstance attending it. 

No sooner did sleep close her eyes, than 
visions, vague and fitful, haunted her pillow. 



THE BED-CflAMBEE. 199 

Again in bey dreams she beheld the gipsey 
apparently in'^ested with a supernatural power • 
she felt her dark eyes looking into the depths 
of her heart, and evermore her portentous 
voice whispered in her ear — * Memory and un- 
dying love will yet take possession of thy 
heart. Yes, when least expected, thou shalt 
see him again,' 

** It is imjH)«8ible- — ^it is impossible we shall 
ever see eaeh other again," said Isabeile 
starting up from a troubled slumber, ** and if 
we did meet, I should not be able to recog- 
nise him— besides, I cannot — dare not, love 
him now, for am I not the wife of another ? 
It is witchcraft — a bunch of rosemary and a 
few violets never could have conjured up such 
reminiscences and mysterious shadows of the 
future. I will destroy the unhallowed gift." 

So saying, she hastily rose, and taking the 
flowers, which lay on a marble console, pro- 
ceeded to the dressing-room, where she knew, 
had been left a chafincr dish of coals. 



200 THE LADY OF 

The grey dawn was beginning to spread over 
the heavens, and throwing an indiatinct light 
into the apartment, half revealed, and half 
hid the objects it contained, when Isabelie» 
passing by a mirror, started with an indescri- 
bable feeling of terror, for an accidental glance 
towards its shadowy surface, revealed to her 
the dark aisles of a church. It was but a 
momentary glimpse. Hurrying on without 
daring to look again, and throwing the bunch 
of flowers which she now perceived were curi- 
ously interlaced with a mystic silver thread, 
upon the chafing dish, she watched, with a 
beating heart the crisping leaves curl up and 
slowly consume. 

The breath of morning, blowing refreshingly 
through an open lattice, cooled her fevered 
temples, and retreating to her sleeping room 
she again passed the mirror, before which she 
now paused ; but her own image, pale and 
weary looking^ as if she had spent a night of 
vigils, was alone reflected therein. 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 201 

For some time after this incident, Isabelle 
was unable, as before^ entirely to stifle all re- 
collection of past scenes, which successfully as 
she might banish them in her waking hours^ 
came, unbidden, and unwelcome, to mingle in 
her dreams, with all those wild extravagancies 
and impossibilities with which sleep ever in- 
vests her phantasmagoria. Again he, to whose 
passionate vows she had listened in the church 
of the Salute, knelt before her, but she saw not 
his face — either a mask, or the dim twilight, or 
his plumed cap, concealed it from her view. 
Nina was not there — the gipsey alone watched 
beside them. 

Once only she dreamed that she saw the 
face of her lover. They were on a wild, 
solitary heath — it was night ; the storm raged, 
and the lightning flashed. He held her hand 
fast in his, and bade her fear nothing. She 
turned to look at him, and a flash of lightning 
revealed the features of De Montfort, and with 
a shriek of surprise she awoke. 



202 THE LADY OF 

Again she slept, and the clash of arms was 
heard. She thought she threw herself between 
two knights engaged in deadly combat, and 
tried to separate them — but her efforts were in 
Tain. A sword, and it was that of De Mont- 
fort, pierced the heart of the other knight, who 
wore the well remembered Spanish dress and 
mask in which she had seen him at her first 
masquerade. 



THE BKD-CHAMBEE, 203 



CHAPTER XL 



Wondrous it is to see in diverse mindes. 
How diversely Love doth his pageants play. 

Spe7isei\ 

Elle €toit logee dans un magnifique apartement du 
Palais, qui n'avoit au lieu de tapisseries que de grandes 
glaces de miroir de toute la hauteur des chambres et 
des cabinets. 

Fbnelon. 



Notwithstanding the secret decision of 
Pierre Delamare with respect to the church, he 
still continued to see Eulalie occasionally, and 
to bestow on her, when he deemed himself un- 
observed, those thousand little nameless tokenJi 



204 THE LADY OF 

of love and devotion which give security to the 
too confiding female heart. 

Delamare could not endure the idea of Eula- 
lie belonging to another — the possibility of her 
ever giving her hand to Henri Desguey was 
insupportable. Yet at the same time that he 
found he could never reconcile his love and am- 
bition together, being conscious that the latter 
passion was so interwoven with his existence as 
to have become the master spring of all his 
actions, and the all-powerful ruler of his soul, 
he determined that, as Eulalie never could be 
his, she should never, if it was in his power to 
prevent it, marry any one else, and by thus 
confirming and strengthening the influence, he 
knew he had over her, he hoped, when he bade 
adieu to the world, so to mystify her poor heart 
and blind her judgment, that, while acknow- 
ledging to herself that he was bound to her by 
no promise or avowal of love, she might, in the 
hopelessness of disappointed affection, immure 
herself in a convent. 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 205 

Such were the secret springs that moved the 
unworthy Delamare, although perhaps not so 
clearly developed to himself as we have shown 
thera to our reader. The innocent Eulalie 
always hailed his approach wdth undisguised 
pleasure, while Isabelle watched him with an 
anxious eye, and a distrusting mind. 

The young Baroness had now passed more 
than a year at her Chateau in Normandy, when 
just at this period her father-in-law, the Count 
de BeaumoDt, procured for her the appoint- 
ment of lady in waiting to the Queen, He had 
been much chagrined at the behaviour of his 
son, and hoped by bringing Isabelie into the 
sunshine of royal favour, and habituating her 
to the air and mannersof a court, that she might, 
on De ]\Iontfort's return, make a different im- 
pression on him to that which she had formerly 
done. Isabelie would have immediately de- 
clined this honour, had she not been wrought 
upon by arguments and entreaties of Madame 
d'Anglures, who, although it would deprive 



206 THE LADY OF 

her of the society of one whom she looked upon 
as a beloved daughter, saw of what infinite ad- 
vantage the countenance of the Queen would 
be to Isabelle, in the position in which De 
Montfort's cruel neglect had placed her. 

Isabelle would willingly have taken Eulalie 
to Paris, but, to her great mortification, the 
youn^ girl declined her invitation, beseeching 
her with tears in her eyes, not to mention the 
subject to her mother leat she might urge her 
acceptance of it* 

Isabelle conjectured that the prolonged re- 
sidence of Pierre Delamare in the neighbour- 
hood, together with the continuance of his 
disingenuous conduct, was the cause of this 
refusaL 

Sometimes Isabelle fancied that Delamare 
had given up all idea of her little friend, from 
the long intervals between his visits, and the 
consequent dejection of Eulalie ; but when be 
did come he always managed, without, appar- 
ently, paying Eulalie any particular attention, 



~ THE BEI>-CHAMBEa* 207 

to re-animate her spirits, and call back her 
former gaiety* 

laabelle too, suspected that Eulalie consi- 
dered the undiguised dislike which Delnmare 
evinced for Henri Desgney as an undeniable 
proof of the passion he entertained for her 

Desguey, whose admiration for Eulalie could 
not be misunderstood, was evidently anxious 
to win the good opinion of Madame d' Anglures 
and public report whispered^ that the provost 
had already made her acquainted with the 
wishes of his son, but as yet, however, she had 
not spoken to Eulalie on the subject. 

Isabelle signified to her father-in-law her ac- 
ceptance of the place of lady in waiting to the 
Queen, and it was arranged that she ahould 
leave Normandy for Paris in a hw weeks. 

The intermediate time was spent principally 
at the Chateau d'Anglures, and there Isabelle 
had an opportunity of remarking the different 



208 THE LADY OP 

sentiments which occupied the minds of the 
young people. 

Desguey was constantly at the Chateau, and 
his suit was evidently favoured by Madame d' 
Anglures. He had not however yet openly 
declared himself to Eulalie, who, notwithstand- 
ing, could hardly be ignorant of the purport 
of his visits, and she, who would have liked his 
frank, agreeable manners, had Josephine been 
the object of his preference instead of herself, 
felt constrained and uncomfortable in his so- 
ciety, particularly if Pierre Delamare happened 
to be present, while the gentle Josephine, 
silent and pre-occupied, scarcely ever spoke or 
raised her eyes from her embroidery frame, it 
being evident that she too was ill at ease. 

About a week before her departure from 
Normandy, Isabelle, accompanied by Eulalie. 
took the short way through the lanes and or- 
chards from the Chateau de Beaumont, where 
they had been for a few days, to the Chateau 
d'Anglures. 



THE BED-CHAMBEK. 209 

They had almost arrived at the little stream 
with stepping stones across it, when they were 
joined by Henri Desguey, who had been taking 
a ramble in that direction. A few paces more 
brought them to the stream, where they found 
a little girl about six years of age, sitting on 
the bank, and crying bitterly. 

On being questioned, she said that she was 
going with her brother to see her grandmother 
who lived in a cottage, on the opposite side of 
the hill, but that her brother, seeing she was 
unable to step across the stones, refused to 
carry her over, and had bade her stay there un- 
til his return. 

Young Desguey, than whom no one could 
have had a better or kinder disposition, directly 
took the child in his arms and carried her 
across, and then leading her to a stile at a 
short distance, which he likewise assisted htr 
to surmount, did not leave her until he had 
seen her take the right paih up the hill towards 
her grandmother's cottage. 



210 THE Lady ot 

This little act of kindness in young Desguey 
was rewarded by the pretty Eulalie with a thou- 
sand smiles, and forgetful for tlie time that he 
wished for any other interest in her heart than 
that of friendship and neighbourly intimacy, 
she laughed and chatted with him, enjoying 
his witty conversation and lively remarks, for 
heLadafund of humour and harmless sarcasm 
in his composition. 

rie had always been a favourite vrith the 
youiig Baroness, and Isabelle, rejoiced to see her 
dear little friend once more like her former self, 
gladly joined in their merriment They had 
nearly arrived at the Chateau d'Anglures in 
this lively mood, when Pierre Delamare ap- 
proached. The sight of Eulalie in the com- 
pany of Henri Desguey and in high spirits, was 
a dagger to his jealous, selfish heart, and after 
the first salutations were over, and they had 
entered the salon, poor Eulalie saw, by the 
moody air, which he vainly tried to conceal, that 
he was offended at something or other. 



THE B£d-chambi:r. 211 

They found Josephine in a distant window 
of the salon, with her embroidery frame before 
her, intently reading the romance of La Prin- 
cess de Cleves^ which in some confusion she 
slipped under her pattern, while the Abb^ de 
Saye entertained Madame d'Anglures, who in 
another part of the apartment was busily em- 
ployed in knitting. Josephine received them 
with great pleasure, and told them, that in the 
evening an addition was to be made to their 
party, and that they were to have a dance ; and 
in. the meantime Isabelle, seeing a sort of con- 
straint spreading over them all, in consequence 
of Eulalie's sudden reserve, and Delamare's 
silence, proposed music 

Young Desguey eagerly asked Eulalie to 
allow him to join her in a duet ; but she com- 
plained of some sensation in her throat oc- 
casioned by a cold, and could not sing— the 
truth was, that if she had made the attempt, 
she knew she vv^ould inevitably have burst into 
tears, Isabelle then bade him apply to Jose- 



212 THE LADY OF 

phine, who Immediately complied with his re 
quest, and as Desguey led her to the harp and 
offered to sing with her, so bright a joy beamed 
in her countenance, that Isabelle for the first 
time, thought she looked nearly as pretty as 
Eulalie. 

Notwithstanding the songs and music, the 
old Abbe seized on Isabelle, and tried to en- 
gage her attention, by some learned disquisitions 
upon the ancient music of Normandy, but 
Isabelle's thoughts were too distracted to per- 
mit her to hear one word he said. She had, 
from the spot where she was seated, a view of 
a small conservatory communicating with the 
salon by glass doors, and perceiving that De la- 
mare had followed Eulalie thither, caught a 
glimpse of him when in the act of taking a 
flower from her bouquet, pressing it to his lips 
and placing it in his bosom. Soon the rest of 
their friends arrived, and dancing commenced 
— Eulalie, although rather more grave than was 
her wont, danced all the evening ; and peace 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 213 

seemed to have smiled again upon the inmates 
of the Chateau. 

Jsabelle left Normandy with a heavy heart 
on account of her young favourite, for whom 
she saw nothing but a perspective of disappoint- 
ment and blighted love. The more she had 
studied the character of Delamare, the less was 
she able to understand him ; she could only 
come to the conclusion, that with all the talents 
and knowledge, which he certainly possessed, 
he was unamiable, selfish, and insincere — 
neither in the present state of affairs could she 
wish, the more amiable,, though not so highly 
gifted Desguey, to supplant him in the affec- 
tions of Eulalie, could such an event be possi- 
ble, as she more than suspected that the gentle 
Josephine was warmly prepossessed in favour 
of the Provost's son. 

Madame d' Anglures, Josephine, and Eulalie, 
shed many tears at parting, and embraced the 
young Baroness tenderly, expressing a hope 
that she would frequently write to them, and 



214 THE hAT>r OF 

as they stood at the window, watching the 
carriage winding its way through the valley, 
until they lost sight of it in the distance, 
Madame d'Ang^ures thought within herself: — 

'* It is impossible that De Mont fort, on his 
return froDi abroad, should not be struck with 
the dazzling charms of Isabelle, heightened as 
they are, by the fascinations of her ingenuous 
and noble manner; nevertheless, should be 
still neglect his beautiful wife, her mind is Itx) 
high-toned and pure, for me to fear that she 
will ever forget what is due to herself, even 
amidst fill the allurements and attractions of a 
Cmirt," 

The lime that Isabelle had spent in Nor- 
matidy since her marriage, had given strength 
to her mind and decisiop to her character. 
The strange position in which she stood, bad 
matured and developed her fine intellect ; she 
had no stronger niind to look up to for guid- 
ance, or rely on for support; she had been 
oblii^ed to think and act for herself; and as 



TBE BEI>-CHAMBER. 215 

De Montfort had placed the entire revenue of 
the estate in Normandy, which his father had 
settled on him at his marriage, at her dis^wsal, 
with absolute power over the domestics and 
tenantry, she had had much to regulate and 
arrange, many abuses to rectify, which bad 
crept in unperceived, owing to the absence of 
the proprietor; cottages to erect, or put in 
repair, for the poor tenantry ; and instruction 
to provide for the children. Thus, when she 
left the Chateau de Beaumont, it was amidst 
the tears and blessings of a happy and grateful 
peasiintry. 

On her arrival in Paris, she was received by 
the Count de Beaumont, and immediately in- 
atalled in her office, of one of les dam^s du 
Palais to the Queen, and put in possession of 
a ha.ndsome suite of apartmenta. 

Isabelle now found herself, at once in the 
midst of all that was gay, witty, and volup- 
tuous. Looked upon with a gracious eye by 
the King and Queen, ^admired by the men, 



216 THE LADY OF 

and envied by the women, yet was she not 
now, as before, dazzled and bewildered by the 
change, but rather beheld it all with an easy 
indifference, and was totally unconscious of 
the feelings she excited. This ignorance, and 
the graceful self-possession of her manners, 
was, in a measure, the result of her freedom 
from vanity, and her pure spirit seemed to 
glide through the intricate mazes of a Court, 
as the moon, in all her chastened splendour, 
moves through the dark clouds of night. The 
fetes and amusements at Court were still as 
numerous and dazzling as ever, although 
Louis himself had given up dancing in the 
balletp. 

It was some lines in the tragedy of Britan- 
nicus, acted before him at St. Germain, which, 
making a deep impression on the monarch, 
prevented his dancing thus in public for the 
future. 

They run thus:— 



THE BED-CKAMBER. 217 

" Pour toute ambition, pour vertu singuli^re, 
II excelle a conduire un char dans la carri^re, 
A disputer des prix indignes de ses mains, 
A se donner lui meme en spectacle aux Romains." 



Of a majestic height, with noble features, 
and the air of an absolute monarch, Louis was 
designed by nature to succeed in everything he 
undertook ; yet, while he was a perfect master 
of, and excelled in every feat of arms that 
took place at the tilts and tournaments of 
those days, exhibiting in the public dance, 
was certainly a degradation to so great a 
King. 

Soon after the arrival of Isabelle at Paris 
the king prepared, with the principal officers 
and ladies of his court, to make a tour and visit 
all the conquered cities in Flanders. Isabelle, 
with the other dames du palais, accompanied 
the Queen in splendid equipages. The 
Dauphin followed them with his retinue, as did 
Mademoiselle with her suite. Masqued balls 

VOL. I. L 



218 THE LADY OF 

and fire works awaited them in every town, 
and they travelled from place to place, sur- 
rounded by as much splendour as if they had 
been still in the palace at Versailles, for they 
brought with them the most magnificent 
jewels and furniture of the crown. 

The ladies of the highest rank in Brussels 
and Ghent were eager to behold all this pomp 
and grandeur, and the King everywhere feted 
them with much gallantry, making them the 
most costly presents. 

The gentle and amiable Marie Therese, 
although no longer beloved by Louis, was 
always treated by him with marked attention, 
and shared in all the honours paid to him, 
while the fair dames in her train formed the 
brightest ornaments at every festivity. 

The Court of Louis the Fourteenth was at 
this time the most brilliant spectacle in Europe. 
There, all that can be imagined of splendour, 
beauty, and talent were united together, and 
although Isabelle had left the country with 



, THE BED-CHAMBEE. 219 

regret, she did not therefore despise the plea- 
sures and amusements which an abode at Paris 
offered to her. 

An amateur in painting, and a passionate 
lover of music, alive to all the fascinations of 
the theatre, then adorned with the comic 
genius of Moliere and the lofty inspirations of 
CorneiJle and Racine, the young Baroness, on 
her return from Flanders, fully participated 
in the enjoyment of those gratifications which 
genius and taste spread before her, and having 
been introduced, by the Count de Beaumont, 
to Madame de Sevigne, with whom he was 
distantly connected, soon found herself sur- 
rounded by all the wits and learned men of 
the day. 



220 THE LADY OF 



CHAPTER XIL 



After long storms and tempests overblown 
The sun at length his joyous face doth clear : 
So when as fortune all her spite hath shown, 
Some blissful hours at last must needs appear. 
Else should afflicted wights ofttimes despair. 

Spensek. 



On arriviDg at his apartments in the ambas- 
sador's palace, De Montfort found that his 
uncle had sent several times in search of him, 
as having some sudden business to transact 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 221 

himself he wanted his nephew to do the 
honours to a large party of convives, who were 
that evening assembled at his house. 

Fain would De Montfort have excused him- 
self, but that was impossible. He wanted to 
be alone — to lay out some plan, to arrange his 
ideas. How was he, should he indeed be so 
f ortunte as to liberate Anastasia from her 
imprisonment in the seraglio, and to get her 
out of the gardens unobserved — how was he 
to conceal ber, even for the short time he was 
to remain in C onstantinople, and then convey 
her out of the city ? What would his uncle 
say if so daring an undertaking should come 
to his knowledge ? 

All these reflections and many more which 
had not occurred to him during his conversa- 
tion with the old woman, passed with rapidity 
through his mind, and filled him with the ut- 
most perplexity; nevertheless he was obliged 
immediately to dress and hasten to his uncle's 
salon, and it was not until a late hour, wearied 



liZZ THE LADY OF 

and fatigued with the exertion of trying to be 
agreeable, and to reply intelligibly to trifling 
observations and vapid conversation, a word of 
which he did not hear, that he at last found 
himself alone in his own apartment, and able 
to reflect calmly upon all that had past. 

De Montfort did not repent of his promise to 
Glaphyra— far from it, he was more than ever 
determined to risk his life for the betrothed of 
the friend, who had so gallantly saved that life ; 
as, indeed, but for Ivan Michaelis, his bloody 
and unknown grave would have been long since 
in the Transylvanian forest, or the waters of 
the Olta Alp would have hidden his unburied 
corpse. But the difficulties which environed 
his undertaking seemed to multiply upon a 
nearer inspection, and it was not until the morn 
had well nigh broke, that, after having thought 
upon and rejected a thousand expedients, he at 
ength decided upon the course to be pursued. 

He saw that to linger even an hour in Con- 
stantinople, after he had released Anast;isia» 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 223 

would be to run the risk of having her speedily 
re-captured, and himself exposed to serious in- 
convenience. He therefore determined to 
arrange for his immediate departure from the 
city, and instead of going by land and taking 
the same route as that by which he had arrived, 
to hire a vessel to carry him and his attendants 
as far as Anada a sea-port town on the Black 
Sea about a day's sail from Constantinople, from 
whence he could easily conduct Anastasia to 
the village where her parents resided, as he re- 
collected having heard from Ivan that it was not 
more than two day's easy journey from that part 
of the coast. 

Having made up his mind upon this point, 
De Montfort lay down for an hour or two to 
rest. He however rose early, and then, without 
mentioning his intention to his valet, went to 
Tophana and hired a small vessel to take him 
with his luggage and servants to Anada on the 
following day, with the understanding that she 



224 THE LADY OF 

was to sail at dawn, in order to arrive at Anada 
before the close of evening. 

He then waited upon his uncle, the Am- 
bassador, and informed him, that he had 
changed his plans relative to his departure, and, 
instead of going direct by land, would coast for 
a short way along the Black Sea, and so enjoy 
once more the enchanting scenery of the Bos- 
phorus ; and, as the wind was now fair, and 
might change if he delayed sailing, he hoped 
his uncle would forgive him for bidding him 
adieu a day or two sooner than he had at first 
intended, telling him that he had arranged 
everything for his departure by sea on the 
morrow. 

The Ambassador was grieved to find that 
this was the last day he was to enjoy the society 
of his nephew, but he was not surprised at De 
Montfort's thus wishing to have a last excursion 
on the Bosphorus, and his intention of coasting 
as far as Anada, seemed very rational, not with- 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 225 

standing it would take him some way out of 
the direct route, the heat of the weather ren- 
dering a voyage much more agreeable than land 
travelling. He therefore, after expressing his 
regrets, only stipulated, that Lis nephew should 
give him as much of his time as now remained, 
and told him that he expected he would spend 
the rest of the day with him. This De Mont- 
fort promised to do, although, under present 
circumstances, it would render his undertaking 
the more difficult as he foresaw he could not 
possibly get away from his uncle's palace until 
very near midnight. 

He now sought his valet, Francois, and 
telling him that he proposed leaving Constanti- 
nople in ^a sailing vessel, at break of day on 
the following morning, bade him get all the 
luggage and servants, on board the craft which 
he had hired, and which was now lying at 
anchor, a short distance from the shore, ready 
to weigh, with the exception of two of the 



226 THE LADY OF 

stoutest and most trustworthy of his attendants, 
who were good rowers. 

These, with the valet, were to remain on 
shore, and as he himself should not be able to 
leave the Ambassador's, until towards mid- 
night, they were to wait at the quay of 
Tophana, with a small light boat belonging ta 
the vessel, until he should join them, and as 
the hour would be late, they had better be well 
rmed. 
He likewise desired Francois to purchase for 
nim, one of the large market baskets, full of 
fruit and vegetables, which the peasantry were 
accustomed to bring in from the country, 
during the cool of the evening, in order to 
have them fresh for the morning's sale, and 
filling it with the choicest fruits, vegetables, 
aud flowers, to have it in the boat, ready to 
take on board. 

Francois promised to obey his master's 
orders implicitly, and was immediately in all 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 227 

the bustle of preparation for a speedy depar- 
ture, while De Montfort, with a mind more at 
ease, now that all his arrangements were made, 
returned to his uncle, to pass the intervening 
hours as well as he could, till the arrival of the 
time appointed for his hazardous undertaking. 
The Ambassador, finding that his nephew was 
so soon to leave him, had that day invited a 
larger party than usual to dinner. 

De Montfort, determined to banish thought 
from his mind for the present, met his friends 
and acquaintances with more gaiety than was 
his wont, answering with playful good-humour, 
the railleries of some, on his fickleness of pur- 
pose, and parrying with skill the offers of 
others, to accompany him as far as Anada. 

All were sorry to lose him, for though many, 
who had known him in Paris as a gay trifler 
like themselves, considered him strangely 
changed in his manners and pursuits, yet even 
those most uncongenial to him in his altered 
mood, had been won to like him, by his cour- 



228 THE LADY OF 

teous and frank bearing, whilst all allowed, 
that he possessed abilities and depth of infor- 
mation, which they had never dreamed of 
discovering in him formerly. And De Mont- 
fort was changed, for if the late chagrins and 
untoward circumstances, in which he had 
found himself so suddenly plunged, had made 
him thoughtful, reserved, and fond of solitude, 
they had likewise awakened dormant energies, 
tastes, and powers, in his soul, which had 
been stifled and almost quenched, by the mere- 
tricious pleasures and enervating atmosphere 
of a Court. 

As De Montfort feared it would be, midnight 
was fast approaching, before his uncle would 
allow him to depart. Not knowing his inten- 
tion of going on board that night, many of his 
friends proposed making their last adieus to 
him in the morning, and on this point, De 
Montfort thought it best not to undeceive 
them. lie now hastened to the Quay of 
Tophana, and found the boat ready with his 



THE BED-CHAMBEE. 229 

three servants, as he had directed. Leaping 
into it, instead of desiring them to make for 
the ship, he, to their great surprise, ordered 
them to pull as hard as they could for Seraglio 
Point, and, when pretty close to it, bade them 
muffle their oars, and get as near the Seraglio 
Gardens as possible. The young moon was 
not yet risen, which rather favoured their 
enterprise, as, lovely as she is, her rays would 
only have rendered them more liable to detec- 
tion, and the stars gave them sufficient light 
to direct their course. 

Arrived at the other side, they ran the 
boat beneath the shade of a projecting rock. 

De Montfort, with Francois and one of the 
rowers, landed, leaving the other to take care 
of the boat, and after an anxious search for 
several minutes, at length perceived the little 
gate or wicket, which Glaphyra had described. 
The young Baron dreaded the possibility that 
Glaphyra might not have been able to procure 
the key, and tried the lock with an unsteady 



230 THE LADY OF 

hand, but the wicket yielded to his touch, and 
he and his followers immediately found them- 
selves within those delicious gardens, forbidden 
to every eye but those of their inmates, and 
which have so often been the theme of the poet 
and the romance writer. 

And De Montfort inly prayed that this 
gate, which had so often seen the murdered 
remains of beauty dragged through it, and 
thrown into the Bosphorus, might now afford 
a safe mode of escape to the fair Anas- 
tasia. 

Pausing for a few seconds after he had closed 
the wicket, De Montfort looked around him, 
but all was dark and silent. Perfumes from a 
thousand odoriferous shrubs and flowers, floated 
on the air, and the hush of night was only 
broken by the song of the nightiDgale, and 
the dash of falling waters. 

By the light of the stars, he perceived the 
pathway which Glaphyra had mentioned, and 
noiselessly following with his two attendants, 



THE BED-CHAMBEK. 231 

the route which she had so accurately pointed 
out, that it was impossible he could lose his 
way, soon saw glistering in the star-light, the 
white marble fountain, decorated with the 
figure of a dragon, from whose mouth poured 
forth the rush of waters he had heard, while 
the flickering of a lamp from a high lattice, in 
a dark mass of building, not far from the foun- 
tain, shewed him that he had reached the 
appointed spot. 

Moving stealthily through the thick shrubs 
with Francois, and bidding his other servant 
remain beside the fountain, De Montfort 
reached the building, and softly clapped his 
hands three times. 

Presently he was aware of the descent of a 
silken ladder from the open lattice, and making 
Francois secure the ropes firmly at the bottom, 
De Montfort mounted the ladder, and rapidly 
ascending to the top, paused and looked into 
the apartment. The room was gorgeous with 
eastern magnificence. Kich carpets and cus- 



232 THE LADT OP 

sions of the choicest embroidery, were spread 
on the marble floor, and gold, porphyry, and 
jacinth, met the eye in every direction. But 
De Montfort beheld nothing of all this; he 
only saw the slight female figure, closely veiled, 
who was kneeling, apparently in prayer, while 
Glaphyra was bending over her, as if joining 
in her supplications. 

On hearing a rustling at the window, the 
latter started, hastily raised the young girl 
from her kneeling position, and embracing her 
fondly, drew her towards the window, then 
murmuring thanks, and invoking blessings on 
De Montfort, she placed the trembling, half- 
fainting Anastaeia in his arms, and extinguish- 
ing the lamp, watched them until they reached 
the ground in safety, and then saw them quickly 
disappear, amidst the thick foiiage. 

Noiselessly, almost breathlessly, they now 
retraced, with speed, the path by which they had 
entered, and finding the wicket open, as they 
had left it, emerged from the gardens, and 



THE BED-CHAMBEE. 233 

sought the sea-shore. Here they found the 
boat, so well concealed beneath the shadow of 
the rock, that they could not perceive it them- 
selves, until they came quite close to it. 

De Montfort now endeavoured with a few 
kind, encouraging words, which he knew not if 
she understood, to cheer the spirits of his timid 
companion, who trembled violently as she hung 
upon his arm, then ordering the market basket 
to be cleared of the heavy vegetables and fruit, 
he gently laid her at the bottom of it, covering 
her over with the lighter portion of its contents. 
This being arranged he ordered his men to pull 
direct for the vessel, informing them, that if 
they breathed a word of the enterprise in which 
they had been engaged, or gave their com- 
panions on board the slightest bint of his pro- 
ceedings, he w^ould immediately dismiss them 
from his service, and allow them to find their 
way back to France as well as they could. 
Franc^ois, and the two other servants, heartily 
glad to be clearof the seraglio gardens, imagin- 



234 THE LADY OF 

ing it to be a very hazardous love affair in wTiich 
their master had been engaged, and not con- 
sidering the danger even yet to be past, swore 
inviolable secresy ; and, on reaching the vessel, 
conveyed with great care their perilous cargo 
on board, which appeared, in the eyes of the 
Turkish master of the vessel and his seamen, 
to be a very appropriate provision for the 
voyage. 

Francois was ordered to keep a strict watch 
beside the basket, which being deposited under 
an awning was shaded from the heat of the sun, 
and De Montfort took his station not far off. 
The daw^n of day by this time streaking the 
heavens with a faint light, and the wind being 
fiivourable, the little vessel weighed anchor, 
and they were soon out of the harbour making 
their way up the Bosphorus. 

Refreshingly did the morning breeze play 
through the sails and rigging of the little craft 
as she lightly skimmed over the blue waters ; 
the rising sun dispelling the soft mists that 



THE BED-CHAMBEE. 235 

hung in curling wreaths around, revealed every 
wooded promontory and indenture of the ro- 
mantic coast, showing here and there the im- 
mense oriental plane trees raisins; their heads 
from amidst the surrounding foliage, while as 
the day advanced, the lovely palace and gardens 
of Bu}'uk Dere — fit residence for some eastern 
Peri — burst upon the eye. 

Soon the Giant's Mountain came in sight, 
and passing the castles on either side, at the 
extremity of the Bosphorus, they found them- 
selves coasting along the margin of the shore, 
and towards the end of the day were landed at 
Anada. 

Fearful that any discovery of what his basket 
contained might take place at Anada and com- 
ing to the knowledge of the master of the 
vessel, might be repeated by him at Constanti- 
nople, and 80 reach the ear of his uncle, De 
Moutfort hired mules immediately, and, with 
his servants and luo^ora<Te, althouo:h it was now 
late, took the road to a small village about a 



236 THE LADY OF 

mile and a half distant, thinking he should be 
much more secure there from detection than at 
Anada. On entering a wood midway, under 
favour of the dusk of evening, and seeing that 
they were quite unobserved, he released the 
fair fugitive from her concealment, whom he 
found to be, to all appearance, more dead than 
alive. Some cordial being administered to her, 
however, she soon revived, and De Montfort, 
wrapping her in a large cloak, placed her on one 
of the mules, and walking beside her, sup- 
ported her until she was perfectly recovered. 
As soon as she had strength to speak she poured 
forth her thanks in broken Italian, and after a 
passionate burst of tears, which seemed to re- 
lieve her full heart, was able to listen to the kind 
words and congratulations of De Montfort on 
her escape. He now spoke to her of her 
betrothed lover, Ivan Michaelis, and informed 
her how much he himself had been indebted to 
him, relating to her the adventure in the woods 
of Transylvania, and their subsequent jour- 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 237 

neyings together. This conversation re-ani- 
mated the spirits of the poor Anastasia, and 
she soon felt no sentiment but that of joy at 
her liberation, and gratitude to her deliverer, 
while her eyes sparkled with pleasure, and a 
bright flush crossed her pale cheek, as De 
Montfort spoke of her lover, but all this, the 
darkness concealed from his observation. 
They soon arrived at the village, and put up at 
the little inn, where De Montfort passed her 
for his sister, and hired a female attendant to 
wait upon her, and accompany her as far as 
Umar Fakih, where, he informed the good 
people of the inn, they were going to spend 
some time. 

The following day they reached Kirk Ik- 
lyssee, where they [remained that night, and 
towards the evening of the next day, De 
Montfort had the happiness of placing the 
young girl in the arms of her disconsolate 
parents. And now, when the fair Anastasia 
presented him to the good old people, as her 



238 THE LADY OF 

deliverer, and recounted the dangers he had 
exposed himself to, in order to compass her 
escape from the Harem, De Montfort felt that 
in spite of the coldness which had crept round 
his heart, and made him forswear all woman- 
kind, had it not been for the friendship which 
he had conceived for Ivan, and the obligation 
he was under to him, the fair Greek might 
have proved as dangerous an enslaver, as ever 
was bewitching damsel in old romance, to the 
fortunate knight who had released her from 
" durance vile." 

But as it was, though he could not help 
acknowledging to himself, that she was truly 
a prize, worthy of being sent to a Sultan, and 
that Zobeide might well dread the power of 
her beauty, still he experienced no sentiment, 
but that of joy at being the means of restoring 
her to her lover, and at parting, he pressed 
her hand to his lips, and listening to her inno- 
cent regrets at his departure, while tears and 
smiles seemed to mingle in her bright black 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 239 

eyes, he bade her adieu with a light heart, and 
prayed her sometimes to speak of him, to his 
good friend, Ivan Michaelis. 

All this time Ivan was absent, ignorant of 
the perils his beloved Anastasia had endured. 

Some time after this, Glaphyra found means 
to escape from Constantinople, and to make 
her way to Umar Fakih, never again to be 
separated from her attached foster child. 



240 THE LADY OF 



CHAPTER XTII. 



Ite voi, che chiudeste 

L'orribil fera, a dar I'usato segno 

Delia futura caccia : ite svegliando 

Gli occhi col corno, e con la voce i cori. 

GUARINI. 

Such health and gaiety of heart enjoy 

The houseless rovers of the sylvan world ; 

And, breathing wholesome air, and wandVing much, 

Need other physic none to heal th' effects 

Of loathsome diet, penury and cold. 

CoWPER. 



Db Montfort had written a few lines from 
Umar Fakih in order to apprise Count Her- 
man of his approaching visit ; he was not 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 241 

therefore surprised,although very much grati- 
fied on reaching Rothenthurm, to meet his 
friend there, who had come with a party of 
his vassals, to assure him in person of the joy 
he felt at again seeing him, and the honour and 
pleasure that he should have in entertaining 
him at his poor castle. 

There was an air of proud satisfaction, of 
calm content in the noble countenance of the 
Count — a looking forth of joy in the dark eye, 
that was a stranger to it when De Montfort had 
met him before, which whispered to the young 
Baron, that the dearest wish of his noble 
friend's heart had been fulfilled, and this anti- 
cipation was confirmed when, after a slight 
pause, the Count added — 

" The Lady Una, my beloved wife, will feel 
equal pleasure with myself in having you as 
her guest, and 1 hope our united efforts will 
induce you to remain with us much longer 
than the very short time you have specified.^' 

VOL. i. M 



242 TSE LADY OJ^ 

De Montfort was truly rejoiced, and his 
manner shewed it, as he inquired with much 
interest for the Lady Una. The Count 
thanked him, arid pressed his hand warmly, but 
he made no reference to former scenes, and De 
Montfort saw that a tear was trembling in his 
eye — it was a tear of pleasure, the overflowing 
of a happy heart too full to speak. 
C The Count now led his young friend along 
the same route which he had formerly travelled 
with Ivan, and leaving the old church where 
the unhappy marriage of the Lady Una had 
taken place on the left, De Montfort found 
that they were on their way towards her castle 
on the banks of the Aluta. 

During their ride De Montfort learned that 
Ivan had taken service with one of the German 
princes, and was fast rising both in rank and 
consideration, being esteemed a very good offi- 
cer. 

As they approached the castle the Count 



THE BED-CHAMBER, 243 

observed, that he and his family now lived al- 
ternately here and at his ancestral residence 
in the neighbourhood of Hermanstadt, and as 
they drew near to it, De Montfort perceived 
that it was a strongly fortified building, with 
moat and keep, well calculated as a secure 
abode on the borders of a set of turbulent 
neighbours. Indeed, when well garrisoned it 
had frequently set ac defiance the attacks of the 
Turks, who had formerly often been in the 
habit of making incursions into Transylvania. 

The Lady Una received her guest with 
ingenuous demonstrations of pleasure. She 
had heard him spoken of by her lord with fre- 
quent commendation, and this was quite suffi- 
cient to ensure him a warai reception from a 
heart that knew no greater happiness than 
that of anticipating, if possible, the wishes of 
her husband. 

Lovely as was the Lady Una, when, pale as 
marble, De Montfort had seen her kneeling be- 
side Count Maurice before the altar, in the old 



244 THE LADY OF 

church which he had recently passed by, her 
beauty was now a thousand times enhanced by 
the bright bloom, and the air of innocent joy 
that overspread her youthful face ; for although 
two years had nearly elapsed since De Mont- 
fort had first beheld her, she still seemed as if 
but just emerging from girlhood. 

Her fair hair, glistering with that shade of 
gold, as if the sun had thrown one of his bright 
beams upon it, hung in waving ringlets upon 
her alabaster shoulders, her small features were 
perfectly regular, and her skin and complexion 
possessed that transparency of hue and colour 
which belongs almost exclusively to infant 
years ; — one glance of her deep blue eye, how- 
ever, revealed, that all the passionate feelings 
of the woman were rife in the depths of her 
heart. 

That soft eye seemed ever to watch every 
change and turn in the countenance of Her- 
man, as if she would have read his inmost 
thoughts, and her ears appeared to drink in 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 245 

^very word that fell from his lips. Graceful as 
a young fawn but timid and silent before a 
stranger, she did the honours of her castle with 
blushing earnestness, leaving Count Herman to 
support all the conversation; yet it was not the 
silence of ignorance, or inability to converse, 
but proceeded, partly from the bashfulness in- 
cident to her very retired life, and partly from 
that admiration, as well as love, which she bore 
to her husband. 

If in his lofty bearing, and more matured 
3^ears, Count Herman resembled the oak, the 
Lady Una might truly be compared to the 
sweet wild honey suckle that twined around its 
branches for support. 

Numerous were the menials and retainers 
who filled the hall of Count Herman, and with 
the old feudal hospitality every beggar was 
relieved at his gate, while his serfs with their 
wives and children were continually thronging 
his kitchen, so that his family appeared of 
countless extent, and the cook and butler needed 



246 THE LADY OF 

to have always a good supply of provisions in 
the buttery. 

His estates were now, however, very large, 
as the inheritance of Lady Una, and of Count 
Maurice, which had fallen to her, added to 
what he derived from his own ancestors, had 
made him one of the most powerful nobles in 
Transylvania. 

High as was the opinion De Montfort had 
entertained of Count Herman, it was raised 
Btill higher by his abode at the castle. 

There he saw his noble host shine in all the 
virtues of domestic life, ameliorating and im- 
proving the condition of his vassals, and culti- 
vating those tastes and pursuits which the early 
devotion of his youth to arms had not formerly 
given him leisure to follow. 

The manly and passionate tenderness, which 
he evinced for his young countess, met by her 
with a blushing timidity and a proud conscious- 
ness, but ill-concealed, that she was entire 
mistress of his heart, while it showed De Mont- 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 247 

fort the fair picture of two beings wliose happi- 
iiesa was coneemtrated in that of each other, 
made him free[uently start, while a bitter pang 
^hort through his breast — a pang not of envy 
but of regret, to think that his own unhappy 
marriage — the adamantine ^hain which bound 
his destiny in this world — would prevent him 
from ever hoping that his domestic hearth might 
he cheered by a being as fond and fair. 

No soft eye would ever watch for Mm — no 
bright smile would ever wekome him when he 
returned weary from thechaee, or fatigued with 
the mental toil to which he had of late habituated 
himself. 

The imperious will of a monarch ha<i united 
Is'ibelle to him, and mutual disinclination had 
dissevered them for ever. 

These thoughts De Montfort strove to banish, 
as often as they crossed his mind. Of what 
use were they, but to throw a dark cloud over 
his existence. Love was not for him, but ho- 
nour, fame, distinction, might be attained — 



248 THE LADY OF 

yes, fame should be his mistress — he would 
seek her in the service of his country, and 
win her amidst the toils of political life. 

Thus he often mused, and springing upon 
his noble steed, would plunge into the in- 
tricacies of the forests, forgetting, in the 
engrossing interest of the boar hunt, all his 
disappointments and retrospections. 

One of the most favourite amusements 
among the higher classes of society, at this 
period, was boar hunting, and De IMontfort 
fully enjoyed this pastime with the Count, in 
the midst of the wild forests, which extended 
round the Castle on every side. 

Nevertheless, one day De Montfort was 
more than usually tormented with harassing 
reflections, which he could not dissipate, and 
which, even in the midst of the chase, came 
to disturb his mind, clinging the more pertina- 
ciously to him, as the time now approached 
when he purposed to terminate his visit to the 
Count. He therefore endeavoured, by putting 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 249 

his horse at his full speed, to fly, as it were 
from himself, and to forget them, and all the 
world beside. 

Leaving the Count and his train far behind 
he at length found himself alone, and entan- 
gled in a savage wilderness. The distant bay 
of the dogs had died upon his ear, and no 
sound of human life broke the solitude around 
him. 

He dismounted from his tired steed, and 
looked upon the craggy rocks, stunted trees, 
and marshy ground, into which he had wan- 
dered, and as the spot was perfectly unknown 
to him, although he had so frequently hunted 
in those forests, he knew not how he should 
retrace his steps, or extricate himself from it. 
He stood for some minutes looking up and 
down, and listening if he could catch the bay 
of the dogs in the distance, but nothing was 
heard in this profound solitude, save the wind 
that swept through the branches of the 

trees. 

M 2 



250 THE LADY OF 

Presently he saw a shepherd's dog emerge 
from a thicket hard by. The animal gave a 
slight bark, as if to attract his attention, 
and then seemed to look wistfully in his 
face. 

De Montfort, who was very fond of dogs, 
Immediately approached him, caressing him 
and patting him on the head — he was glad to 
see the dog, as he imagined his master could 
not be far distant, and that from him, he 
might learn in what direction to turn his 
steps. 

The dog was pleased with his notice, and 
wagged his tail ; presently he licked his hand, 
and in a few moments, seizing the skirt of his 
hunting cloak between his teeth, gave him a 
gentle pull. De Montfort disengaged his cloak, 
and patting the dog's head, spake kindly to 
him. 

This seemed only to embolden the animal, 
who, seizing him by the cloak again, looked 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 251 

up piteously in his face with an imploring 
whine, and gave him a stouter pull. 

De Montfort was much surprised at the 
dog's pertinacity, and could not help calling to 
mind, the various stories he had heard related 
in the Castle hall, of the spirits who haunted 
those forests. Laughing at himself for such 
thoughts, and being curious to see why the 
animal wished to lead him on, he took his 
horse by the bridle, and made a movement to 
follow, which the dog seemed perfectly to un- 
derstand and running on before, turning his 
head every now and then, as if to see that De 
Montfort was after him, paused at length on 
the brink of a deep ravine, into which he 
plunged. 

De Montfort followed to the edge of the 
cliff and looked down its perpendicular side. 
At first he saw nothing but the sheer rock 
covered here and there with brambles; however 
upon a more narrow inspection, he perceived the 
dog vsitting at the entrance of what appeared 



252 THE LADY OP 

to be a hollow in the rock, nearly half way 
down the side of the clifF, and soon he saw a 
little hand put forth to pat him and heard 
some words in a strange tongue addressed to 
him, as if caressingly, by the feeble voice of a 
child. The dog now looked up and seeing De 
Montfort gazing down into the ravine, ran up 
the side of the rock, and again pulled him by 
the cloak. De Montfort immediately compre- 
hended that the poor animal wanted his aid for 
some human being, and tying his horse to a 
tree proceeded to attempt the descent. It was 
with difficulty that he effected it, as the bushes, 
full of whortleberries which edged the abyss, 
gave him but little assistance when he managed 
to lay hold of them. At last after much 
scrambling, find tearing his-hands and his clothes, 
De iVIontfort contrived to arrive at the spot 
where the dog sat wagging his tail, and per- 
ceived that the drift of the faithful animal had 
been to bring him to this place, where lay, pale 
and bruised, a boy of about six years old. A 



THE BfiD-CHAMBER. 253 

broken bush full of whortleberries lay beside 
him, and the fragments of a little rush basket, 
intercepted in its descent by a twig just below, 
on which it hung, shewed at a glance that in 
seeking for the fruit, the child had fallen into 
the cleft. Some rock or branch had probably 
arrested his fall and he had managed to creep 
into this hole. The boy, exhausted as he was, 
eyed De Montfort with a searching, almost a 
startled glance — then pointed to his ankle which 
was much swelled and covered with congealed 
blood, making signs, that he could not move it 
and by his accents appearing to solicit help. 

Securing a steady footing for himself as well 
as he could, on this dizzy resting place, De 
Montfort now took a hunting flask and some 
biscuit from his pocket and making the child 
first drink a small portion of brandy in order 
to revive him, gave him the biscuit which he 
devoured ravenously — the poor little fellow 
however not forgetting to throw as many 



254 THE Lady op 

morsels to his faithful dog as he swallowed him- 
self. De Montfort then lifted the child from 
the ground who all this time had continued to 
gaze on him with his keen black eyes and at 
last, in spite of the pain he was in and his in- 
ability' to stand, the boy clapped his little hands 
with exclamations of joy and surprise as if he 
had suddenly recognized a friend, and De 
Montfort on looking at him attentively, dis- 
covered all at once that this must be indeed 
his old acquaintance, the gipsy boy on 
whom he had formerly bestowed the chain, at 
the time, when benighted on the Carpathian 
mountains, the old gipsy grandsire had enter- 
tained him and his friend Ivan, so hospitably. 

The difficulty now, was how to get him up 
the cliff, but the boy soon settled this point, 
by making signs to De Montfort that he would 
go upon his back, which being done and the 
gipsy holding on with the grip of a cat, De 
Montfort soon had him out of his perilous posi- 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 255 

tlon and placing him before him on his horse, 
was now only puzzled to discover in what di- 
rection he was to proceed. This perplexity 
however the child removed by pointing across 
the northern part of the wild marsh, and then 
to his dog who trotting before them, seemed 
perfectly to understand that he was to show 
the way home, while De Montfort sure that this 
avant courier would lead them to the boy's habi- 
tation wherever that might be, followed in his 
wake. 

After keeping the dog in sight for above two 
miles, the forest, broken by pieces of marshy 
ground, appearing still wilder and more lonely, 
they at length emerged from it, and De Mont- 
fort perceived that they approached an encamp- 
ment of gipsies. Before they had quite reached 
it, they had been discovered by some scouts 
loitering outside, and the child and dog recog- 
nised, so that when they entered the encamp- 
ment there seemed to be a general commotion, 
and an appearance of great joy at the return of 



256 THE LADY OF 

the lost one, and soon the old grandsire came 
forth to welcome his grandchild, and to bless 
and thank his deliverer. 

From the account of the old man it appeared, 
that the child had been missing for two days. 
He had sent on every side to look for him, but 
in consequence of the boy's rambles having been 
always before in a different direction from the 
course he must have taken that day, he con- 
cluded his people must have neglected searching 
the marshy ground. He added that Zanina had 
left the boy in his charge while she went with a 
party of her friends to try her fortune in some 
of the large cities, and that should anything 
have happened to the boy during her absence 
it would have broken his heart. 

One of the gipsy women, who had im- 
mediately taken charge of the boy on his being 
lifted off the horse, now came to report, that 
although much bruised, and his left ankle badly 
sprained, the little urchin was otherwise un- 
injured — no bone being broken. 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 257 

He was then taken to his grandfather, and 
being placed at his feet, employed himself in 
alternately caressing his dog, who took up his 
station beside him, and in gazing with a look 
of great admiration on De Montfort, while the 
latter was conversing with the old man. 

De Montfort rejoiced that his thus losing his 
way in the forest had been productive of such 
beneficial results, and after telling the old man 
how happy he was to have been of service to 
his grandchild, requested a guide to the castle 
of the Lady Una. The old gipsy immediately 
selected a stout youth from the tribe, who knew 
the country well, to accompany him ; and De 
Montfort, after first partaking of a mess made 
of boar's flesh, as the old man would not hear 
of his leaving their abode without taking some 
refreshment, proceeded on his way home, much 
surprised to learn from his conductor what an 
extent of country he had crossed since the 
morning. . 



258 THE LADY OF 

Having informed the old man, in the course 
of conversation, that he was shortly about to 
leave that part of the country, and to return to 
Paris, De Montfort, a few days before his de- 
parture, received a missive from the old gipsy 
enclosing a letter, which he begged De Mont- 
fort to be the bearer of to his daughter whom 
he said, he had good reason to believe was by 
this time in Paris. 

De Montfort smiled at the idea of his being 
able to discover a poor gipsy woman in the in- 
tricacies of Paris, as the direction was so vague 
as to give him no clue to what might be the 
place of her abode. He, however, bade the 
messenger inform the old man, that he would 
take charge of his letter, and endeavour to 
discover his daughter. 

With many regrets, De Montfort bade adieu 
to Count Herman and [the Lady Una — regrets 
which on their part, were sincerely recipro- 
cated, and after a journey of some weeks. 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 259 

without any interruption, except the time 
devoted to rest, at the different towns and 
villages through which he passed, he once 
more found himself within the precincts of Paris, 
and was soon clasped in the arms of his anxi- 
ously expecting father. 



260 THE LADY OP 



CHAPTEE XIV. 



" Where the impression of mine eye infixing, 
Contempt his scornful perspective did lend me, 
Which warp'd the line of every other favour j 
Scorned a fair colour, or expressed it stolen ; 
Extended or contracted all proportions, 
To a most hideous object. 

Shakspeare. 



Notwithstanding the prudence of Isabelle, 
and her freedom from all coquetry, it was 
impossible that her beauty and wit should not 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 261 

attract universal admiration, and frequently 
inspire a warmer sentiment, in a Court so 
renowned for gallantry, as was that of Louis 
the Fourteenth, and among all those who fol- 
lowed her footsteps, and haunted her wherever 
she went, none excelled in amiability and per- 
sonal endowments, the gay ^and lively Marquis 
de Cressy. 

He had early left a favourable impression 
upon the mind of Isabelle, in consequence of 
the warmth with which he had taken her part, 
in that conversation, so painful to her feelings, 
which he had held with De Montfort on the 
subject of his approaching marriage, and which 
she had so unfortunately overheard, from the 
bower where she was seated, in the gardens of 
Versailles— unfortunately, for it had made an 
impression on her mind at the time, too vivid 
to be easily eradicated — the never to be for- 
gotten aversion of De Montfort to the match, 
and the strong expressions he made use of to 



262 THE BEr-CHAMBER. 

that effect, being indissolubly | connected with 
every recollection of her marriage. 

The Marquis, gay, thoughtless, and good- 
natured, well skilled in all the accomplishuients 
of the day, without any irreat depth of charac- 
ter, but possessing a lively wit, an inexhaustible 
share of good-humour and vivacity, with an 
endless variety and easy flow of conversation, 
was the idol of all the women, and the most 
esteemed and sought after by them, of all the 
fashionable young men at the Court. If he 
had admired Isabelle when he first saw her at 
Paris, despite all the disadvantages with which 
she was then surrounded — her grief for the re- 
cent loss of her father — her disinclination to 
participate in those gaieties, into which she 
was nevertheless obliged, by the wishes of the 
King, to enter, added to the constant mortifi- 
cation she felt at the prospect of the constrained 
marriage, to which she was necessitated to sub- 
mit at that period, dimming the lustre of her 



263 THE LADY 01^ 

personal attractions, and enveloping her in s 
melancholy silence and reserve, which some, 
and De Montfort amongst them, considered to 
arise from an awkward bashfulness, and the 
want of a cultivated understanding— how much 
lovelier did he find her now, when he beheld 
her embellished by all the charms, which sere- 
nity of mind and an enchanting wit, could give 
to her natural beauty, heightened as it was by 
that courtly air of fashion, which, as a beauti- 
fully designed frame, sets off a fine picture to 
the best advantage, placed her loveliness in the 
most attractive point of view. How often did 
he wish, that the King had bestowed her hand 
upon him, who would have prized and valued 
the fair gift, instead of uniting her to the care- 
less De Montfort. 

All the conquests which De Cressy had ever 
made, appeared to him now to be perfectly 
valueless in comparison to that which he would 
achieve, should he be able to win the heart of 
Isabelle. He had discernment enough to per- 



264 THE LADY OF 

ceive, and sense enough to esteem her the 
more for the discovery, that hers was a heart 
very different from that of most of the beau- 
ties moving within the circle of the French 
court, and laying out his plans accordingly, 
carefully concealed his furtive hopes in the 
depths of his soul, and only professing friend- 
ship and an admiration for her various talents 
payed her the most delicate attention, veiled 
with an insidious respect, being ever on the 
watch to come to her aid,as it were accidentally, 
to shield her from the more open and often 
irksome attentions of other gallants, and so 
well did the dangerous De Cressy manoeuvre, 
that Isabelle looked upon him with an e}e of 
friendship, and considered him as by far the 
most agreeable of all the young noblemen at 
Court, 

As the ready wit and polished conversation 
of De Cressy made him a welcome guest at 
every re-union, he easil}^ insinuated himself in- 
to the society of Madtime de Sevigne, and of 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 265 

all the other friends where Isabelle was most 
frequently to be met with, and though it was a 
circle he had not formerly much affected, yet 
he managed with such admirable skill, and so 
effectively that there was scarcely a house to 
which Isabelle was in the practice of resort- 
ing, that without appearing in the least degree 
to seek it, he had not soon an access pressed 
upon him. 

Thus Isabelle was in the habit of meeting 
De Cressy everywhere, and receiving from 
him a thousand little unobtrusive acts of 
kindness, grateful to one who was startled and 
terrified at more open assiduities. 

Since her abode at court she had become 
more alive to the difficulties and danorers of the 
situation in which the indifference of De Mont- 
fort had placed her, and to which in her cha- 
teau in NoriTiandy she had scarcely given a 
thou£;ht — mor? conscious of the galling n;iture 
of the chain by which she was bound, and sur- 
rounded as she was by admiration and flattery, 

VOL. 1. JS 



26^ THE LADY OF 

is it a wonder if, without being aware of it 
herself, a strong sentiment of pique, with a dis- 
taste to hearing his name mentioned, and a more 
than ever eagerness to banish him from her 
memory took root in her bosom ? while as it 
was supposed that De Montfort's uncle, the 
ambassador, w^ould remain a considerable time 
in Constantinople, and as she was satisfied De 
Montfort would continue with him as long as 
he could, she was not tormented with any 
anticipations of speedily seeing him again, 
particularly as the Count de Beaumont thinking 
that a sudden surprise might act favourably 
upon both parties, was careful not to make any 
allusion to the mandate he had sent his son. 

Isabelle'f^ success at Court had far outstripped 
her father-in-law's most sanguine expectations, 
and while her beauty and talents flattered his 
pride, the retenue of her deportment ond her 
indifference to the homage and devotion that 
assailed her on every side, inspired him with 
the hope that when De Montfort returned he 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 287 

would be so struck by her charms, and so 
anxious to atone for the past, that both for- 
getting their former disinclination, might be 
united toi^ether at Inst in the bonds of love. 

Ever since Isabelle had obtained a place 
at Court the old Count had meditated so often 
and so deeply upon the ultimate liealing of the 
disunion between her and De Montfort, that it 
was with much difficulty he had restrained 
himself from entreating his son, at an 
earlier peri- )d, to shorten his stay at Constanti- 
nople. Notwithstanding, he wore his years 
so well, as De Montfort had heard from the 
young official, this absence gave him a constant 
uneasiness, and since De Montfort hid written 
to assure him of his spiedy compliance with 
his wi-hes, he had anxiously counted the weeks 
now amounting to months, which had inter 
vened between that announcement and his 
son's appearance in i aris. 

De Montfort came, and the heart of the old 
Count bounded with joy as he held him in his 



i 



2^8 THE LADT Of* 

arms — a joy in which De Montfort participated ; 
and when he saw the tears that stood in his 
father's eyes and received his fond benediction, 
his heart smote him for having so long ab- 
sented himself from his parent. 

The Count looked at his son with proud 
stttisfaction — he could not but observe how 
much he had gained in health and spirits during 
their sepp ration, while De Montfort on his 
side, was rejoiced to see, that his father's eye 
was as bright and his step as firm as when they 
had last parted. 

It was not long before De Montfort 
opened his projects to his father and dilated 
upon the advantages he had derived from his 
sojourn with his uncle at Constantinople. He 
talked of the satisfaction and pleasure he had 
found in his new pursuits and of his intention 
of pursuing, at home, those objects of a laudable 
ambition, and all this he expressed with a tire 
and eloquence so new to his delighted father. 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 269 

that he could hardly recognise in him th« gay- 
butterfly of former days. 

Everything was thought of and freely dis- 
cussed between them but Isabelle — her name 
was never alluded to, and though burning with 
a desire to recall her to his son's remembrance, 
the Count de Beaumont as yet, hesitated to 
touch upon what he feared would be an un- 
welcome theme. Now that his son was 
arrived the airy fabric of his hopes began to be 
shaken and that, which looked upon in per- 
spective, seemed the most probable thing in the 
world to occur, at the moment that he thought 
it was within the grasp of certainty, appeared 
to recede to an immeasurable distance. 

It was not until the following day that the 
Count found couraoce to mention the name of 
Isabelle to De Montfort and to inform him of 
the high situation she now held as one of the 
Dames du Pahis to the Queen. De Montfort 
heard this announcement with as much surprise 



270 The lady of 

as vexa ion. He had never contemplated the 
possibility of her residin<j at Court. A meet- 
ing with Isabelle was what he would, under 
any circumstances, most eagerly have avoided. 
But now it seemed perfectly inevitable. 

The Count saw with much perplexity and 
dismay the chagrin expressed in his son's coun- 
tenance — the gloom that overspread it at the 
mention of Isabella's name boded but ill for the 
hopes of the reconcilement between them, which 
he had cherished. He has not seen her yet 
thought he, " it is impossible but he must 
think differently of her then." 

It was however with the greatest difficulty? 
and not until he had been a week in Paris, that 
the Count was able to persuade De Montfort 
to accompany him in a visit of ceremony to 
Isabelle, who had a suite of apartments in the 
Palace. 

De Montfort knew it was absolutely neces- 
sary he should make this visit ; yet he shrunk 
from it as sensitively as he would have done 



^HJE BED-CHAMBER. 27l 

from the thumb screw or any other instrument 
of torture, and his father could only induce 
him to pay it at once, by promisinoj never to 
put any constraint upon his actions in this 
respect for the future, and never to interfere 
in the least between him and Isabelle. 

The old Count built much upon this first 
interview, but he was sadly disappointed. 

Isabelle was really not well, and very much, 
flurried, from the announcement of their [)ur- 
posed call, of which her father-in-law had 
thought it best to give her but a short notice, 
before they arrived. 

She looked pale and distressed, and received 
De Montfort with a cold and somewhat haughty 
reserve. 

He saw nothing in her, but the inanimate, 
dejected, weeping bride, he had formerly eo re- 
luctantly wedded, and with this remembrance, 
came the flash of joy that lighted up her coun- 
tenance, when he told her that he was going 
to Constantinople. 



272 THE LADY OF 

The Count was grieved to see Isabelle looking 
so ill and unhappy, and after making many kind 
inquiries after her health, endeaTOured to pro- 
mote a general conversation, by alluding to 
some recent incidents at Court, and asking her 
if she had yet seen La Berenice^ which had just 
been performed at the theatre of the Palais 
Koyal. But he could scarcely elicit a reply — 
Isabelle had lost her usual self-possession, and 
De Montfort, on the tenter hooks of anxiety 
to escape, soon put his father in mind of an en- 
gagement, which called them elsewhere. Their 
departure was a relief to Isabelle — she remained 
in deep thought for some time, leaning upon 
the table, near which she had been sitting, her 
face covered with both her hands. At length 
the clock struck, and she started from her re- 
verie — in half an hour, she was to attend the 
Queen. 

" It is impossible lean go to-day," said she, 
gazing at herself in an opposite mirror. " I 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 273 

must send an excuse, oii the plea of indisposi- 
tion." ^ 

And wrestling with her emotion, she sat down 
to write a note, but her hand was so unsteady 
that she was obliged to lay down the pen. 

'• The Count was wrong,"" exclaimed she^ "in 
concealing from me, until this morning, the 
arrival of the Baron— had 1 known it sooner, I 
could have better nerved myself to support it 
—ah! I hfive been so happy during his absence, 
and now — but we are equally indifferent — why 
should we torment each- other ? — why sliould we 
interfere ?" 

Thus saying, she resumed her })en, and after 
blotting two or three sheets of paper, dis- 
patched a tolerably legible note, to excuse her 
non-appearance. 

This visit, so distasteful and irritating to De 
Montfort, made him resolve to leave Paris di- 
rectly, and go into the country, which resolu- 
tion he would no doubt have put into execution 
in the course of a few days, notwithstandings 

N ^ 



274 THE LADf OF 

it would militate against all his pre»Oonceived 
projects, had not the Count, who feaijed such 
might be his deterniination, procured from the 
King, without his son's knowledge, an appoint" 
ment at Court, which he knew he dared not 
refuse ; and Be Montfort, very reluctantly, 
found hsmseU obliged to remain in Paris. 
However, he soon found that Isabelle's sejour 
there, need not, at least as y^X^ give him any 
uneasiness. Isabelle was not to be seen on the 
Boulevards or in the Champs Elysees — no glimpse 
of her caught Mr eye at the theatre, where, 
every night, the brilliant genius of Corneille 
drew tears from many a fair dame, neither was 
she at any of the Court assemblies, and from 
dreading to meet her everywhere, he soon 
began to wonder what had become of her, and 
to hope, particularly as his father never men- 
tioned her name since the day of their visit, 
that she must have left Paris. 

The presence of Clementine — his once adored 
Clementine— on the contrary, greeted him 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 275 

wherever he went ; but he turned away 
from her in disgust— it was in vain, that she 
tried to regain her old ascendancy- over him. 
De Montfort no a- saw her in her true colours, 
and w^as astonished, how he conld ever have 
been fascinated by so heartless a co(|uette; w^hile 
she, eager as formerly, to enlist him in a train 
of admirers^ who had of late very much dimi- 
nished, was so enraored at his neglect, that she 
secretly vowed, he should some time or other 
feel the full wrath of a despised woman. 

Meantime, De Montfort' s curiosity began to 
be excited, in some degree, about Isabelle. 
He had accidentally, and with much surprise 
heard her beauty, wit, and enchanting grace, 
descanted on by a knot of young courtiers — 
many thought she far outshone Madame de 
Montespan — all lamented her absence from the 
Court festivities. For the first time he heard 
' — and heard it with a sort of pang, at his neglect 
in not inquiring after her, that she had been 
much indisposed, but was so far recovered. 



276 THE LADY OP 

that it was expected, she would be able to re- 
sume her usual brilliant position in society. 

** De Cressy is in despair," said one of the 
group. 

*' And De Valey has been to Lully, to set 
to music some verses he has written on her/^ 
replied another. 

** Their homage seems to make no impres- 
sion upon the lovely Baroness/' added a third. 
** Some people think that Madame de Monte- 
span begins to be a little afraid of her," 

'* She is truly charming, but cold as ice," said 
another. 

De Montfort now caught the sound of his 
own name, and feeling his vicinity to the party 
begin to be very embarrassing, hastily with- 
drew. 

Isabelle wittj^ talented, beautiful as Madame 
de Montespan I Impossible !— and he smiled 
incredulously. 

That night De Montfort' s eye scanned every 
fair face in the Queen's train at the thea- 



THE Bed-chamber. 277 

trej and unconsciously turned away disap- 
pointed, for Isabeile was not there. For 
several succeeding nights he watched for her 
—still Isabelle did not appear; and so much 
w^as his curiosity excited at last, that incon- 
gruous as it may see n, he became, at the end 
of three weeks, as desirous to see her and 
examine what was the enchantment she pus- 
Scssed, which appeared to incline every one in 
her favour, and made the great Corneiile him- 
self lament her absence from a recitation of a 
new tragedy he was about to bring forthj as he 
had been at first to fly from, every chance of 
meeting her. 



278 THE LADY OF 



CHAPTER Xy. 



tTna Kinfa si bella e si gentile : 

Ma che dissi una Ninfa 1 Anzi una dea. 

Di matutina rosa, 

Piu fresca e piu vezzosa 

E piu molle, e piu Candida del cigno > 

Per cu'i non e si degno 

Pastor' oggi tra noi, che non sospiri, 

E non sospiri in vano. 

Guarini. 



De MoNTi'OKT had already begun his politi- 
cal career, and was plunging deeply into the 
ocean of politics | but while his days and often 



THE fiED-CSAMSKK. 279 

part of" his nights were devoted to this engros- 
sing pursuit, his evenings were spent at the 
theatre, or some g.iy re-unions and not unfre- 
quentiy at the Court balls, where all the fair 
and noble in the Court circle were used to 
assemble. 

Already his depth of information and origin - 
ality of thinking had marked him out a§ one of 
the most rising statesmen of the day, and his 
fond and proud father was deeply gratified 
whilst he listened to the flattering congratula- 
tions that met him wherever he appeared, on 
his son's success* 

It was about this time that De Montfort ac- 
companied his father to a ball given by the 
Queen, who was just returned, with the ladies 
of her train, from a short seclusion at the 
Pal ice of Versailles. 

Despite the bitter chagrin Isabella had felt 
at the unexpected return of De Montfort to 
Paris, she had, during her slight indisposition, 
and afterwards in the very opportune retire- 



280 THE LADY OlB^ 

ment of the Queen at Versailles, schoole 1 her- 
self so well, examined her position in so many 
flifferent points of view and called up .^o much 
good sense to aid her pride; that she was ena- 
bled to make her appearance at this ball looking 
more lovely and attractive than ever. 

The idea of De Montfort^s abode in Paris 
had been at first so insupportable to her, that 
the impulse of the moment had prompted her 
to throw up the office she held in the palace, 
and retire to the old chateau in Normandy ; but 
a little reflection had shown her the indiscretion 
of such a proceedings as in relinquishing the 
patronage of the Queen, she would only have 
exposed herself the more to the importunate 
assiduities of the Duke de Coaslin, who had 
plainly shown her that no seclusion could hide 
her from his passionate addresses. 

On this night Be Montfort made sure that 
he should behold Isabelle, and after he had 
forced his way through the crowded suite of 
rooms, and made his obeisance to the Queen, 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 281 

on looking around, she was the first person that 
caught his eye; but so different was the brilliant 
and fascinating Tsabelle of the evening, from 
her to whom he had paid the hurried and re- 
luctant visit on his first arrival, that prepared 
as he was by the eulogies he had heard of her 
charms to doubt the evidence of his own senses, 
he could scarcely iuiagitie it was indeed Isabclle 
that he now gazed upon. - 

Isabelle did n. t observe the entrance of De 
Montfort and his vicinity to her — she was con- 
versing in a lively strain with the King, who, 
notwithstanding the presence of Madame de 
Montespan, was paying her the most flattering 
attentions. The gallanteries of Louis were 
well known, and De Montfort experienced a 
feeling of anxiety as he looked at his beautiful 
and unprotected wife, and recollected to what 
dangers his neglect exposed her. In a few 
minutes the King, spying De Montfort, ap- 
proached, and graciously accosted him, while 



282 THE LADY OF 

De Cressy, ever on the watch, eagerly supplied 
his place near Isabelle, and a circle of the 
young and old hovering around, anxious to seize 
upon the envied position, still shut out De 
Montfort from her view. De Montfort saw 
this incense lavished upon Isabelle. whose easy 
indifference and gay unconsciousness, as she 
received it, did but add a new charm to her 
beauty, and he perceived that her sparkling 
wit and powers of conversation, drew many 
into her circle whom beauty alone might not 
perhaps have attracted thither. He would 
willingly have turned away, but a species of 
fascination seemed to root him to the spot, and 
an unaccountable jealousy took possession of 
his mind, which was not lessened when Isabelle, 
who had not perceived him before, now recog- 
nised, and slightly saluted him with a polite 
and disengaged, but chilling demeanour, im- 
perceptible most likely to those around, but 
which the unreasonable De Montfort inwardly 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 283 

chafed at, particularly when he heard no 
diminution of wit and gaiety in her conversation 
with her surrounding admirers. 

Whatever Isabelle might have felt she, like 
a true woman, dissembled, and her cheek did 
not grow pale, or her eye less bright for the 
presence of De Montfort, who, in spite of her 
cold disdain, could not but confess to himself, 
that he had never seen any one half so 
beautifuL 

Her dress, too, was in perfect taste, and set 
off her symmetrical figure to the best advan- 
tage. Her robe of the finest point de France, 
a present from the Queen, swept the ground in 
graceful folds — she wore no coiffure but three 
or four small golden bodkins fastened up the 
loops and tresses oF her hair, v/hich a good deal 
parted on the forehead, shaded her dimpled 
cheek, and descended in a thousand soft glossy- 
curls upon her neck. Magnificent pearls were 
interwoven among her curls, and ear-rings 
formed of diamonds of the first water, gave a 



284 THE LADY OF 

finish to this really splendid though chaste and 
simple looking dress. 

Her beauty and appearance were further en- 
hanced in the eyes of De Montfort by her 
vicinity to the Marchioness de Varville, who, 
detesting Isabelle for her youth and loveliness 
and now more than ever anxious to eclipse her 
in the presence of De Montfort, endeavoured 
by a thousand little arts to attract his attention 
and to form a circle round herself at a little 
distance. 

De Montfort could not but observe that 
Clementine had lost as much in the two years 
he had been absent, as Isabelle had gained, and 
that as if conscious of the flight of youth she 
endeavoured by cosmetics and surreptitious aids 
and by the most magnificent and shewy attire 
to make up for the encroachments of time. 

Her dress was therefore in a most extrava- 
gant taste being a petticoat of black velvet 
dazzling with costly embroideries of gold and 
silver, and a scarf couleur de feu with massive 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 285 

embroideries similar to her petticoat, while 
jewels sparkled on her person in every direc- 
tion. 

This dress which made her look like an 
actress, cost an immense sum of money and in- 
deed people said she was ruining her husband 
as fast as she could by her unbounded extra- 
vagance. 

Isabelle, had in reality studied her attire for 
this evening with more care than she was wont 
to do — never had she been more admired, more 
flattered, more followed than at this ball and 
never before, notwithstanding her apparent 
disregard of it, had this admiration, this assid- 
uous attention been so grateful, so secretly 
prized by her, as on this night. That which 
was valueless and commonplace before, had all 
of a sudden, from some hidden cause which 
she did not attempt to investigate, become of 
worth and price in her estimation. What was 
it that thus enhanced the value of the homage she 
had always so slighted ? It was a secret though 



286 THE L\DY OF 

unacknowledged consciousness, that De Mont- 
fort was present, and that he must now be 
aware, how eagerly, were she free, others would 
seek the hand which he had so reluctantly re- 
ceived. 

Nevertheless, despite all this triumph — this 
incense, isabelle was dissatisfied with herself 
as she laid her head upon her pillow — she was 
vexed that whatever she thought of,, wherever 
she tried to fix her ideas, the image of De 
Montfort appeared before her as she had seen 
him at the ball. Ft ^vas with no pleasurable 
sensation that his idea recurrtd to htr, but she 
was unable to banish ir. It was true that among 
the flower of tne court assembled there that 
evening, no one outshone, few rivalled De 
Montfort in personal appearance — but it was 
not of that Isabelle thought — it uas not upon 
that she dweir, although in her secret soul she 
would not hav^e been able to controvert it. It 
vras of the bitter chagrin he must fee!, which 
his grave and haughty air shewed iier he did 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 287 

feel at the recollection of the bonds which 
bound him to her. 

*' It is of no use to think of it,'* said she 
with a heavy sigh, " would we were both free." 

Then she fell asleep but her dreams were 
strange and wild. De Montfort mingled with 
them all, but one whom she had long taught 
herself to forget likewise vaguely and indis- 
tinctly crossed her path — again seemed to swear 
an eternal love to her and to claim her early 
vows. Then she thought, as once before in her 
dre;ims, that he wore the aspect of De Mont- 
fort and clasped her to his heart. 

She awoke from her fevered sleep with a 
start, and looked around. The rays of a bright 
moon fell upon the parquetted floor of her 
room, and threw a stream of light upon her 
couch, but the more remote corners of the spa- 
cious apartment, remaining in deep obscurity, 
seemed, to her still dreamlike senses, to be 
peopled w^ith a thousand vague and fantastic 
fi-rms. Still she saw De Montfort^ and now 



288 THE LADY OF 

his countenance wore a look of stern reproach. 
At last she composed herself to sleep again, 
but her rest was uneasy— masquerading fipfures, 
in every variety of costume, flitted around her 
pillow — strange faces appeared to mow, and 
mock at her — now she found herself involved 
in the most incongruous adventures, depicted 
with all the vivid minuteness of reality — then 
hurrying through, and unable to extricate her- 
self from the interminable passages and galleries 
of nn old castle, she endeavoured to escape 
from tl e pursuing steps of the dreaded De Mont- 
fort. 

Again she awoke, and weary of her fruitless 
efforts at composure, rose, and throwing on a 
morning robe, opened a olass door, and entered 
a balcony belonging to her apartments, which 
overlooked the gardens. 

All nafure was in the calm of a delicious 
repose. The dawn of morning, though very 
near, had not yet dimmed the brightness of the 
sparkling starSj among which, the planet Venus 



a 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 289 

shone conspicuous, with a soft and steady lus- 
tre. Isabelle leaned over the iron rails of the 
balcony, and enjoyed the stillness of the per- 
fumed air, and the feverishness, incident upon 
her troubled slumbers, was dissipated by de- 
grees. 

" From whence can^arise those broken and 
fantastic images, we behold in dreams," thought 
she. ^^ Memory and imagination may riot in 
the fragments of past scenes, and arrange 
them in wild confusion ; but from whence 
comes it, that events beyond the range of all 
possibility, thoughts that the mind has never 
contemplated, in her wildest day-dreams, thus 
come before us in the visions of the nit^ht, 
with all the force and garb of reality? 

'* is it to reveal to us the picture of insanity? 
—is it to shew us what germs of madness lurk 
in every mind, and what are the wild vagaries 
that haunt us, when the noble structure of rea- 
son is overthrown ?" 

The Count de* Beaumont, who was at the 

TOL. I. O 



290 THE LADY OF 

ball, saw with rapture, the sensation which his 
beautiful daughter-in-law's appearance in so- 
ciety, after her late indisposition, occasioned. 
He had entirely ceased to speak of her to De 
Montfort, since the visit in which he had ac- 
companied him, and if his chagrin was then 
excessive, at seeing Isabelle look so ill, his joy 
now far out-balanced it, and he watched with 
secret pleasure, the impression, which he 
judged she had made this evening on De Mont- 
fort, by the constancy with which his eyes 
appeared to follow all her movements. 

He was disappointed, however, when, on the 
following morning, De Montfort, though con- 
versing of vnrious persons, he had met the 
preceding night at the Palace, never made the 
slightest allusion to her, and the Count did not 
deem it prudent, to venture any remark him- 
self 

A fortnight stole away, and few evenings 
past, in which De Montfort and Isabelle did 
not meet in the Court circle, and indeed, if 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 291 

Isabelle had wished ever so much to avoid the 
Ijresence of the Baron, she could not now 
compass it, as she had no plea of indisposition, 
<iad the gentle Queen, who was prodigal to- 
wards her of the warmest marks of affection, 
was never happy, unless she was in her train ; 
while the King, a passionate admirer of beauty 
and of talent, always remarked the absence of 
•one, so well suited to adorn every fete — still 
the same excessive reserve existed between 
them — a cold salutation on the part of Isabelle, 
and one as chilling, if not more so, on that of 
De Montfort, 

Yet, with all this apparent indifference, he 
watched her with a jealous eye, and vainly 
tried to hide from himself, what daggers to his 
heart were the sweet smiles and enchanting 
grace, with which he fancied she met every one 
but himself. This fascination, which she exer- 
cised over him, from the night he had been so 
struck with her appearance at the Queen's ball, 
was entirely independent of his will. He was 
o 2 



292 THE LADY OF 

Startled at a passion so suddenly awakened in 
his bosom, for an object, from whom he had 
formerly fled with such earnestness of purpose, 
and he often tried to turn away, when be found 
his spell-bound steps arrested in that part of 
the room, where he could, unobserved, best 
look at and listen to her. The circumstance 
that she was his wife — that she could never 
belong to another — seemed but to widen the 
abyss that separated them, by impressing on 
him the idea, that he could never dare hope to 
win a heart, that must have long since learned 
to detest him. 

He tried, by ' engaging in public affairs, to 
fly from those tormenting thoughts, but while 
applause greeted his brilliant career, and the 
politicians of the day saw in him a new star 
arisen amongst them, the amusements of the 
evening brought no relaxation to his mind, for 
there he saw Isabelle, beautiful, gay, and 
indifferent. 

" It is my own fault, said he, one night as 



t-HE BED-CHAMBER. 293 

he returned to his hotel, more enchanted by her 
beauty — more stung by her disdain than he had 
yet been. '* I ought to entreat an interview 
with Isabelle-^I ought to throw myself at her 
feet — ask pardon for the past, and sue for 
her forgiveness. But alas ! what can be the 
result ? We have parted by mutual consent. 
Can I forget her joy on the morning of our 
bridal day when I spoke of my departure for 
Constantinople? — Can I doubt her dislike? — 
may I not read it in her manner — and even 
should I wring from her an unwilling consent 
to be indeed mine — could I, by the interven- 
tion of my good father, prevail on her proud 
spirit to forget my past neglect, of what avail 
would it be to my happiness if her heart, as 
now, rejects me? [f 1 was again to see the 
pallid cheek and tearful eye with which she 
greeted me on my late arrival in Paris, they 
would be daggers in my bosom. No, unless Isa- 
belle can love me as I feel I could love her — as 



S;94 THE LADY OF 

I do love her, 1 never should be happy. No, I 
must wait— I must try to win her affection — 
to efface in some degree past remembrances. 
But has she* a heart to win? — Lively and 
brilliant as she looks, may she not secretly 
weep over the unhappy bond that unites us ? — 
Unhappy I — yes, unhappy, for were we both 
free and unconstrained, I too, like others, 
might seek, by devotion and passionate love, to 
win a heart that I now fear is lost to me for 
ever." 

Thus did the too sensitive De Montfort 
reason — thus did he torment himself, and thus 
was the claim he possessed over Isnbelle, not 
only valueless in his eyes, but converted, by his 
morbid imagination, into a source of torture, 
ten thousand times worse than that it had 
formerly, but from how different a cause, in- 
flicted upon him. And such has, and ever will 
be, the waywardness of the human heart — 
rejecting that which is most valuable from 



THE BED-CHAMBER. 295 

caprice — then prizing the lost treasure most, 
when it is found to be irretrievably gone. 

De Montfort though young in years, was 
from his early residence at Court, and his 
passionate attachment to Clementine, well 
Tersed in all the arts of coquetry which the 
Court beauties were wont to practice, and 
could at a glance discover the unaffected sim- 
plicity and freedom from vanity, which in the 
midst of her attractions were pre-eminent in 
Isabelle. 

He did not however see that her cold reserve 
towards himself, which in his eyes wore the 
semblance of disdain, was in fact but the 
natural reflection of his own deportment. 
Perhaps had his manner been different, hers 
might have relaxed. Conscious that Isabelle 
must be aware that in his opposition to their 
marriage, he had been actuated by a passion for 
an unworthy object. as well as by dislike to have 
his affections constrained,and certainthat his pre- 



296 THE LADY OP 

sence much be insupportable to her, for hinit 
there always seemed a magic circle drawn 
around her, as if by the wand of some enchan- 
ter, within which he did not not dare to 
venture* 

Yet when apparently most neglectful, he was 
in reality more occupied by her. Sometimes 
the tones of her voice, whether in singing or 
speaking, had an unaccountable effect upon 
him, particularly if he was not tortured by 
beholding the attentions that were paid to her 
by others. 

They came over him like the breath of the 
early dawn of morning, reviving as it were in 
his soul, the first sensations of youth and love. 
— Not like the tumultuous passion he had felt 
for Clementine — but sweet as the melody of 
distant music — as the song of birds — as the 
fragrance of spring flowers — connected in an 
indefinable manner in his imagination with 
everything that was soft and pure, and genuine 



THE BFJD-CH AMBER. 297 

in his early life— As if some spell had re- 
awakened all the beautiful, first, fresh, vivify- 
ing sentiments that were fostered in his mind 
before his affections had been entangled and 
sported with, by the wiles of a finished 
coquette. 



END OF VOL 



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